Climate clippings 25

Sea level risk worsens: Need for greater urgency as Arctic ice melting faster

The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much as one and half metres this century, dramatically higher than earlier projections, an authoritative international assessment says.

The findings ’emphasise the need for greater urgency’ in combating global warming, says the report of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the scientific arm of the eight-nation Arctic Council.

The melting of Arctic glaciers and ice caps, including Greenland’s massive ice sheet, is projected to help raise global sea levels by 90 to 160 centimeters by 2100, AMAP said, although it noted that estimate was highly uncertain.

Now the AMAP assessment finds that Greenland was losing ice in the 2004-2009 period four times faster than in 1995-2000.

The last bit is interesting, the rest is not news, except that the article appeared in the Courier Mail. Probably just a page-filler grabbed off the wires. Turn over a few pages and there was a column by Jennifer Marohasy. Normal service restored.

Corruption threatens climate finance

Transparency International tells us that the 20 countries that need most help in climate change all score below 3.6 on their corruption scale, where zero is most corrupt on a 10-point scale.

Reuters article here.

Warmer oceans release CO2 faster than thought

As the world’s oceans warm, their massive stores of dissolved carbon dioxide may be quick to bubble back out into the atmosphere and amplify the greenhouse effect, according to a new study.

The oceans capture around 30 per cent of human carbon dioxide emissions and hide it in their depths. This slows the march of global warming somewhat. But climate records from the end of the last ice age show that as temperatures climb, the trend reverses and the oceans emit CO2, which exacerbates warming.

We are looking here at 200 years instead of 400 to 1300 years. Two reasons are given for the effect. The first is that there is deeper mixing as the ocean warms, dredging up CO2-rich deep ocean waters. Secondly, when you warm the ocean up it drives the gas out, just like warming up a Coke bottle.

Carbon accounting system crazy

Countries such as the UK and the US to delude themselves by not counting the hidden emissions from imported goods.

On the latest more comprehensive figures:

the UK’s CO2 emissions didn’t fall by 28m tonnes between 1990 and 2008 at all, as the official record indicates, but rose by a substantial 100m tonnes. Rich country emissions went up 12% over the period when hidden, traded emissions are included, and anomalies such as Russia, whose economy collapsed in the early 1990s, are left out.

World to lose forest area 27 times as big as Austria

According to WWF

the world stands to lose 230 million hectares of forest by 2050 with drastic consequences for the climate, biodiversity and the global economy.

They are advocating Zero Net Deforestation and Forest Degradation (ZNDD) by 2020.

Obama must break with failed U.S. energy policies

Environment360 reviews Obama’s recent energy policy speech. And finds continuity through the last eight presidencies.

The president would regulate, bribe, purchase, and cajole to transform how we produce and use energy in this country.

In his kennel of proposals, however, one dog failed to bark, the same dog that never barks. In the thousands of pages of energy legislation and regulations enacted since energy policy came to the fore in the 1970s, Congress has never demanded that Americans pay a price that reflects the true price of the energy they consume. For nearly a decade following the oil embargo of 1973, Congress refused even to allow the price of gas at the pump to reflect the worldwide market price of oil.

The US continues to subsidise energy production and not to tax consumption. It’s a matter of political necessity, it seems, where Obama talks tough, but the actions belie the talk.

I haven’t had time to look at his policies in detail, so I wonder what you think.

Green dilemma

How do we fight without losing what we’re fighting for? That’s the problem exercising George Monbiot. In producing more wind power, for example, we are industrialising our landscape. People are revolting.

Whatever we do produces more emissions or outcomes we don’t want to live with. We are stuck, with no idea what to do. He looks at the Dark Mountain Project which is attempting to create a new narrative, to change culture.

Monbiot thinks this will founder when it tries to translate into practical realities and quantities. All he can offer is withering analysis, quantification and exposure.

But can we do this without becoming insensible to beauty, and to the impulse – a love for the world and its people, its places and its living creatures – which turned us green in the first place? I don’t know. I do know that it’s a discussion in which we have to engage.

A whole new kind of capitalism

By contrast Ferber and Epstein have a whole shopping list of answers, rather than questions.

Their vision is not so much a different kind of capitalism, but rather the same old beast, regulated to death. For good measure they want to reshape the worlds institutions such as the WTO, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. They propose a Tobin tax to shave a slither off international currency trading, which they’ve just decided should be eliminated.

Monbiot went down that track with The age of consent. At least he picked that world government was a necessary step.

They’ll grow old and die before they get to first base.

A better chance, I think, to introduce the überregulation of cap and trade and let the world carry on as it will.

276 thoughts on “Climate clippings 25”

  1. Let’s see what Bolt and Blair say about this? I suspect that if we reach tipping point we’ll get less articles on fraudulant scientists and more on incompetant scientists not warning us in time.

  2. On the first story “normal service restored”, the other morning saw ABC’s Virginia Trioli holding up a front page of the Australian the other morning urging viewers to have a read.

    No matter which way one turns these days the argument is lost in the noise of vested interests. Except in climate clippings. Keep it up.

  3. BilB was that where the Oz said that Westpac had joined the critics of the Government’s carbon tax policies, and the chief executive came on radio later and said that was straight out wrong and went on to make supportive comments about what the Government was doing, the timing of it etc?

  4. A carbon tax in Australia will cool the world by how much?

    If there is a number how long will it take to acheive this goal?

  5. Doing nothing will make it warm faster, OntheBus. For that reason, I cant understand why anyone would support that option.

  6. OTB asked a standard Murdochratic question …

    A carbon tax in Australia will cool the world by how much?

    This is not a serious attempt to elicit information.

    a) petitio principii — no carbon tax is proposed
    b) Until a price on Co2e emissions is specified, including its jurisdictional scope, sequence and structure, one cannot begin to determine its likely impact on investment and consumption patterns and the knock on effect on emissions and atmospheric CO2e inventories over time and thus the rate at which the planet warms or the point in time when it stabilises and the temperature at that moment
    c) The objective of policy differs depending on the time frame being discussed. In the near term, the objective is to restrain growth in world emissions so as to stabilise pCO2 at about 450ppmv and prevent more than 2degC of post industrial-era onset warming by 2100. The very long term objective would be to reduce the temperatures over the next few hundred years to something like that obtaining at 1900. Perhaps a CO2e price will help underpin that effort but it is not clear. It’s by no means clear that even stabiluisation at 450ppmv would achieve the not more than 2degC of post-industrial-era onset warming. This gives us, many think, about a 50-50 chance of achieving this. We probably can’t prevent the world getting to more than 450ppmv because the world will probably not place a high enough price on Co2e emissions.

    It’s probable that to be more than 50% confident of achieving the desired standard, that we will need active and passive geo-engineering — some biosequestration and perhaps some “global dimming” by upper tropospheric releases of something like So2 in order to neutralise the positive forcing from escalating emissions. So as part of a more general program, pricing emissions could help reduce warming, by funding a suite of complementary technologies, and discouraging antithetic (Co2e-intensive) technologies

    That such an apparently simple question has such a complex answer is a matter of indifference to the filth merchant spruikers and culture warriors of the OZ. This is why the question is trolling.

  7. Anthony Watts has a rejoinder to this often repeated scare.

    For those readers who reject scaremongering, read this:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/04/more-arctic-sea-level-worse-than-we-thought-scare-stories/

    And don’t bother to come back with adhominem attacks on me or Anthony Watts.

    Just deal with the material he presents, please.

    Yep, back in 2009, the same claims were made, right about the time of the Copenhagen Climate Conference. Of course it isn’t surprising to see Climate Progress leading the pack with such disinformation, it is what the blogger is paid to do. But. let’s look at the unpaid reality of the data.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/05/02/oh-noes-sea-level-rising-three-times-faster-than-expected-again/

  8. Frans says:

    “This is why the question is trolling.

    So you do not know ro refuse to asnwer.

    Attacking me as a troll does not hide the fact that you cannot answer by how much the planet will cool if Australia introduces a carbon tax/price.

    To make it easier for you, if Australia ceases all carbon emmission tommorrow how much would that cool the planet and in what time frame?

  9. how much the planet will cool if Australia introduces a carbon tax/price.

    A carbon tax is not intended to cool the planet, and has never been claimed to produce cooling so your question relies on a dishonest premise.

  10. Lefty E claims:

    “Doing nothing will make it warm faster”

    OK say Australia does not put a price on carbon.

    By how much will this cause the world’s temp to rise and in what time frame?

    What is our contribution to this rise in temp?

  11. @10
    “A carbon tax is not intended to cool the planet, and has never been claimed to produce cooling so your question relies on a dishonest premise.”

    OK If Australia does not put a price on carbon, how much will this cause the planet to warm and in what time frame?

    What is our contribution to the temp rise?

  12. “And don’t bother to come back with adhominem attacks on me or Anthony Watts.”

    You hear that folks? Let’s keep it above the belt. No snide remarking that the thoroughly debunked Heartland Institute-published Watts was previously a Fox News Radio weatherperson.

  13. OnTheBus: a rough estimate of our contribution to temperature rise is 1.29% – given that it’s our proportion of greenhouse gas emission. Small, maybe, but not negligible – we’re in 16th place.

    You still may be thinking “why bother?” Well, when we consider the amount of carbon we emit per capita, we’re number #12. Countries 1-10 are pretty small, with Qatar at number #1. But number #11 is the United States – and #13 is Canada, no minnow itself. Both share features with Australia – suburbia and high automobile use – that can be used as cheap excuses not to mitigate carbon emissions.

    So by reducing our carbon emissions, we can leverage this at the next climate change conference. “Hey, look at Australia. Finally, they’re not being rich hypocrites about carbon emissions. If they can do it, we can do it too.” And Australia has a better political climate for doing something than Canada, with Harper getting in again, or US, with a denialist Republican congress majority. Climate activists in their country could use Australia as a model to follow.

    You asked about a time frame? Here’s a link with lots of graphs. Note that the “business than usual” scenario results in an average of 2 degrees Carbon by 2060 – which is not the same as 2 degrees rise over the world. Siberia and the Canadian North will rise by about 5 or 10 (can’t remember the figure off hand), and since these areas have lots of melting permafrost with methane clarates, we’ll get a burst of heat afterwards.

  14. I’m not surprised my comment went into moderation. As far as the spam detector goes, a three link comment is enemy action. Still, it was an attempt to answer OnTheBus’s questions. (Interesting moniker. Do you drive buses for a living?)

  15. Gobsmacked said:

    And don’t bother to come back with adhominem attacks on me or Anthony Watts

    If the ad hominem attacks are salient to a claim’s reliability, then why should anyone eschew them? You know full well that they are so you are merely trying to rig the terms of the dispute in your favour.

    OtB said:

    OK If Australia does not put a price on carbon, how much will this cause the planet to warm and in what time frame?

    It depends. Will other jurisdictions be encouraged by what Australia — one of the world’s leading contributors to the problem and one of the world’s larger economies after all — does? Quite possibly. Certainly, if we don’t act, others can cite Australia’s malfeasance — much as our local delusionals, culture warriors and filth merchant apologists do here in relation to other lesser offenders — against action. This happens in classrooms all the time — putative malfeasants attempt to point to poor conduct by others to obtain relief from the rules. If Australia were to devise a robust and apparently successful scheme, then our success would greatly subvert recalcitrance elsewhere. On that basis our scheme could be the key factor in a serious reduction in world emissions and thus the early stabilisation of pCO2 at 450ppmv.

    A problem with the question is the collapse of the distinction between a necessary and a sufficient condition. For the world to act, it is almost certainly the case that Australia must act. Australia pricing CO2 is almost certainly a necessary condition for action on a world scale. At the very least it’s a strongly predisposing condition. Yet it is not a sufficient condition because it’s not certain that our action will be decisive. That it is not sufficient weakens the case for acting, but it doesn’t destroy it.

    Consider a different problem. How many healthy life years will you add to your life if you avoid consuming substantial quantities of unhealthy food, pursue regular aerobic exercise, avoid smoking and so forth? One cannot say. Would these be sufficient to ensure that you avoid a premature death or years of physical incapacity? Of course not. Not everything is in your control or even knowledge. Here and there, other measures may be prudent. That reality is not an argument for poor lifestyle choices. If someone suggested that the mere fact of uncertainty about the arrival or quantum of benefit over time was a ground for reckless indifference to good health practice, reasonable people would baulk. We make choices all the time on the basis of prospective but uncertain negative or positive goods, and here, in the case of CO2 mitigation, the case is very persuasive, and the tool — here pricing emissions — is well attested.

    It could well be of course that Australia’s failure to act was utterly decisive in defeating early action on climate change that would have made the difference between managegable disaasters and catastrophic loss — between warming of 2degC over post-industrial onset and perhaps 4-5degC and horrendous human displacement, crop losses, and much more. We are on a knife edge even now. Dare we not act or even act timorously? ? Not in my opinion.

  16. “Interesting moniker. Do you drive buses for a living”

    “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe

  17. On the bus: Australia produces somewhere around 1.5 – 2% of world emissions.

    Sadly – for the set of half-smarters who think this is somehow evidence of its insigificant – about 40% of world emissions are produced by countries who emit about 1.5-2% of the global total.

    If Australia does nothing to reduce them, why should they? Then you see the potential impacts are enormous.

    If anything, teh fact that we are the highest per capita emitters add weight to our responsibility.

    This debate does however presume one is capable of adult-style thinking about responsibility. I see no evidence of that capacity in large tracts of our political leadership.

  18. Watts is a Creationist. This tells us everything we need to know about the standard of his “science.” Creationists deny that Man has an influence on the Earth’s climate systems because it undermines their belief that God alone controls these systems.

  19. Carbon denialism has four stages:

    (1) “the earth isn’t warming, and its a plot by those dirty f***ing hippies of Teh Left to enslave us to One World Government”
    (2) “the earth is warmng but its nothing to do with mankind, and its a plot …. etc”
    (3) “mankind’s CO2 is warming the earth, but its too late/too hard to do anything about it. Oh, and its a plot …. etc”
    (4) “the misery now being caused by warming-induced crop failures /flooding/ storms etc is a plot …. etc”

    It’s good to see that OnTheBus has moved from (2) to (3). I suppose we can call it progress of a sort.

  20. “It’s good to see that OnTheBus has moved from (2) to (3). I suppose we can call it progress of a sort.

    Patronising attitudes is what I have come to expect from people when talking about Climate Change.

    Rarely straight discussion or answers, just condescending and patronising remarks.

    I see you are no different.

  21. Down & Out

    Your figure for Australia’s emissions understates Australia’s contributions on a number of grounds.

    1. We import a great proportion of our consumer goods from jurisdictions emitting Co2 to produce the goods. If we produced all of those goods here instead, our emissions would be a good deal higher because the source country emissions would decline in our “favour”.

    2. The reason for action now is largely because we are already at 391ppmv. Historically, the journey from 280ppmv to 391 has been accomplished very substantially through our emissions, much more so than other countries that in this year are producing emissions. Russia is above us now but until about the 1930s it was substantially an agricultural country. China and India and Brazil and Mexico and Indonesia didn’t start contributing substantially until a long time after us. Had we early industrialisers industrialised at a comparable rate and time to the late industrialisers, inventories would be far lower. So our responsibility is higher relative to late industrialisers. We have caused more of the problem and are better placed to make restitution. So whether our contribution is 1.29% this year or not, we ought to be at the cutting edge of emissions reductions — not just here but in places here it stands to make a difference.

  22. @18…i suspect you wouldn’t have lasted that long on that particular bus, especially if displaying the kind of trolling you are engaging in here. neal would have given you the hammer.

  23. OTB is using a standard denialist tactic.

    The fact that it has no validity is not relevant to his [?] purpose which is simply to utter an incoherent one liner then consequently ignore the answers and claim there has been no answers, then shift the goalposts, ignore answers to the goalpost distraction and ….repeat.

    Engaging with such is a waste of time.

    I see the same tactics used in overseas blogs where a denialist claims that the US cutting emissions will make no difference to the earth cos China isn’t, or Canada cutting emissions will make no difference cos Australia isn’t or @@@@@ cutting emissions will make no difference cos **** isn’t.
    Its a foolproof tactic.
    The denialist can always claim that somebody somewhere isn’t cutting emissions and that therefore we [whatever country is under discussion at the time] should not.

    Hollow tactic.

  24. You’re likely to be right, Fran. I was underestimating Australia’s role in things. But the first stage is to admit that there is a problem, and the second is to acknowledge we can do something substantial about it. (Too many folk throw up their hands at the latter.)

  25. Quite right Huggy

    If nobody should act first*, then by definition, everyone should wait for something they advise others not to do. An extension of this argument might be that Australia should not act last either, since if everyone else has acted, then our action will make no difference — after all, nearly 99% of the job would have been done. Why should we hurt ourselves for nothing?

    It’s just an attempt to dress up an argument for inaction in the clothes of pragmatism and self-interest. Everyone can find an excuse not to act — a reason why they should be the exception, and the argument put by the deniers is important exactly because all but 15 or so countries are covered by it. Then of course one could claim that countries just above us should get at least our plimsoll line and then one could argue that since the differential made no difference to warming that should be excluded too and by degree nobody would have to comply.

    In no other area of public policy do we let people off because their individual contribution to some harm is very tiny as a proportion of the whole. People aren’t allowed to steal cars because their share of world car theft is tiny. We aren’t allowed to exceed the speed limit because our speeding would contribute 1*10^-19% of world road traffic violations. When there is a common task to be achieved, everyone ought to bear their fair share of the burden of achieving it, and contribute it regardless of the compliance of others, using that compliance to place pressure on recalcitrant others rather than using the default of others to evade responsibility.

    *of course, Australia wouldn’t be acting first but never mind the facts. This is Murdochratic trolling we are dealing with

  26. Wasn’t someone the other day asking when the last time an entire panel of recent comments was taken up with one topic — in that case Death of Osama Bin Laden?

    Well Climate Clippings 55 has achieved this again.

  27. OtB went tone troll complaining as follows:

    Patronising attitudes is what I have come to expect from people when talking about Climate Change.

    Rarely straight discussion or answers, just condescending and patronising remarks.

    You can scarcely complain if you speak as someone who has never considered the possibility that adequate responses to the question you put have been done before, including in this place. That makes you sound either wilfully ignorant or disingenuous. Can you really have imagined your well-worn troll would confuse anyone here? That just begs for a metaphoric slap across the back of your head.

    You’re entitled to play the victim if you want to. few here will care because we know it’s either an act or you’re simply someone who enjoys the sound of your own ignorance and misanthropy.

  28. The other problem with these “everyone should pick up after us!” style objections is that they presume, nornally without evidence, that its not in our economic advantage to act – which is an extremely dubious proposition rarely subject to the sorts of scrutiny it deserves.

  29. Could I suggest that we just ignore trolls like OTB? They’re not really looking for information and threads like this just end up being derailed, which is classic disruptive behaviour.

    Although I don’t comment much on these Climate Clipping threads, I always make sure to read them in order to learn.

  30. Has there been a measurement or estimate of the natural carbon sequestration, per year, of the Australian land mass and territorial waters?
    And if so , a comparison with other countries ?

    ( an honest question, no agro please )

  31. Meanwhile, back on the real planet Earth, the Arctic sea ice is in deep shit.

    Thanks for posting this, and similar, Brian.

  32. Yes, thanks Brian. If you’ll excuse the metaphor, your posts are an island of sanity in a sea of crap, at least in Australia.

    And I second Fine’s thoughts about the trolls that seem to infest posts on this subject. Information is the last thin that they’re interested in.

  33. Half a dozen or so denialists were standing around in a circle happily bashing themselves over the head and body with an assortment of blunt and sharp objects.

    After some decades one of them noticed that the group was suffering an inordinate number of cuts, bruises and broken bones.
    “Perhaps its time to stop?” he softly suggested.

    But his observation was met by #2 denialist with the retort that “I will if you will”.
    So #1 said he would.

    But #3 chimed in with “Thats no good, even if you stop the total number of hits and cuts from the group will only be minimally reduced by an insignificant percentage and thats no good so why bother?.”

    #4 entered the discussion with the observation that #1 was, in fact, hitting himself [strangely all were men] more often than the group average so his stopping would, again in fact, result in a larger than group average decrease in total self mutilations.

    #5 spoke up for the first time [he had been busily hitting himself and simulataneously collecting his cheque for doing so from the Hotland Hitting Association, an organization devoted to spreading the word that such hitting was not occurring but should be allowed to continue to occur anyway cos such was an absolute human freedom] and noted that the person who was hitting himself far more than all the others had not stopped so why should he?

    At that point #6, the person referred to by #5, vehemently stated that he was not going stop until everyone agreed to stop and since he was not going to stop they could not therefore, as a group, ever stop so why should he stop?

    “Besides,” he said, “Its fun and good for us”

    So they all agreed that unless they could all agree, which was clearly impossible, they would not agree to stop but would agree to continue to not stop.

    At this stage a sane person who had been watching and listening from a distance, wandered up, gently rounded up the babbling group, herded them into their own private little sound proffed room, closed the door so the noise could not be heard in the world outside and stolled off shaking her head in wonderment.

  34. Has there been a measurement or estimate of the natural carbon sequestration, per year, of the Australian land mass and territorial waters? And if so , a comparison with other countries ?

    jumpnmcar: I don’t know off the top of my head, to be honest. I’d try Googling it, if I were you.

  35. DaOoSG
    Thank, i got no further than Wikipedia.
    My question was really directed toward Brian, as there seams nothing that isn’t “on the top of his head” so to speak, and he never replies with insults.
    Its a very complicated question that would take me ,10 lifetimes to start answering.
    I just though there may have been a study done, that may have done that work for me.

  36. @jumpnmcar, I don’t have any definitive answers for you, but I suspect the extreme shallowness of our topsoil layer means that our land mass is not especially effective at natural carbon sequestration compared to nations on the continents where the topsoil is tens of metres deep even though their area is smaller. That our mountain ranges are all weathering down rather than building up doesn’t help, either.

  37. NB: agricultural lands also contain much less carbon in the soil than natural forests. From the APH Library site on carbon mitigation options:

    Soil sequestration

    It is estimated that soils contain between 700 gigatonnes (Gt, 109 tonnes) and 3000 Gt of carbon, or more than three times the amount of carbon stored in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. However, most agricultural soils have lost 50–70 per cent of the original soil organic carbon pool that was present in the natural ecosystem prior to clearing and cultivation. When forests are converted to agricultural land, the soil carbon content decreases. This happens because organic matter in the soil decomposes following the disturbance while, at the same time, less carbon enters the soil because the clearance has reduced the biomass above ground, and practices such as stubble burning will reduce it even more. Agricultural usages such as grazing, harvesting and tillage also tend to reduce soil carbon, as does increased erosion that often results.

  38. @ Hannahs Dad

    “I see the same tactics used in overseas blogs where a denialist clims that the US cutting emissions will make no difference to the earth cos China isn’t, or Canada cutting emissions will make no diffrence cos Australia isn’t or @@@@@ cutting emissions will make no diffrence cos **** isn’t.

    If the whole world cuts emissions to zero tommorow how much will this cool the planet and how long will it take?

    We are told that the plant is already too warm, so how long will cutting 100% emissions tomorrow take to cool the planet to the acceptable level?

  39. OK a simple line of questionms if someone , anyone can answer them for me to make things simple.

    I know Fran and others like to scream abuse and call people ignorant for not knowing the answers already, or call them trolls or some other form of crap.

    1) The planet is already too hot by ‘A’ degrees.
    2) the planet is still heating up. It will be ‘B’ degrees in “c” years if we do not put a price on carbon.
    3) If the whole world agrees to put a price on carbon it will reduce the planets heat by ‘D’ degrees in “e” number of years.
    4) the perfect temperature of the planet is ‘F’ degrees.
    5) to acheive this the price on carbon should be ‘G’ dollars per tonne of CO2.
    6) this figure will result in a price variance of ‘H’ dollars up or down to a family yearly budget.

    Can somebody please fill in the values for A to H please.

    Or is that a trolling and ignorant thing to ask for?

    You see nobody ever gives these simple questions an answer. They only ever answer with “denialist!” , “troll!”, “ignorant!”, etc etc etc

  40. The questions are falsely simplistic.

    They put a veneer of false simplicity over staggeringly complex scientific, economic, political and social issues and questions.

    The fact that there is no simple answer to your questions should not entail you leaping to any conclusions about the quality of climate science or the policies that are formulated to attempt to resolve the challenges raise by climate science.

    There’s your answer. You might not like it. You might think it inadequate. That’s a matter for you.

    The rest of us have to get on with life, make decisions, seek answers and attempt to make a positive contribution to the world in the absence of the false simplicities and the false certainties you crave.

  41. very loose ballpark figures will be fine.

    No answer, not for any of the questions?

    Just again called a troll and simplistic.

    Can you not even give ballpark figures to the questions asked.

    These are the type of questions many, many everyday Australians are asking. If you call every one of them a troll and abuse them, well what do you think they will think of your policies and beliefs on climate change?

  42. @45

    Is this a blog or a scientific study/research paper that answers the questions I asked?

  43. OTB

    You are on your last chance.

    The video and site citd by me above does 3 things.
    1. It makes the same point Mercurius makes above.
    2.Provides, via the video [which I will presume you have already watched as you claim your desire to learn is sincere. Have you watched it and absorbed it?] stacks of evidence that AGW is occuring.
    3.Gives you the opportumity and resources [by following the cites quoted in the video] to verify the absolute plethora of information presented that shows AGW is occuring and gives precise answers to your questions numerous times.
    You do understand, I hope, that the graphs presented in the video are compiled from millions of observations based on a desire to get answers as to what is actually happening.
    Or to put it another way, the scientists “have been there and done that’ with respect to your purportedly sincere questions and the video is a ten minute summation of such.

    In other words, again, you have been provided with a start to your request.

    Avail yourself of such.

  44. OTB

    Your questions and demands for answers does seem far too facile to be from any person who has spent anytime actually reading or watching (and understanding) the vast array of texts, blogs and media about the science of global warming.

    You do appear to know how to write, but on the evidence at hand here it is hard to believe you can actually read or understand other people or have expended any energy actually engaging your brain and using your senses to figure anything out by considering the information already provided to you here, or elsewhwere online.

    OTB – These are the type of questions many, many everyday Australians are asking. If you call every one of them a troll and abuse them, well what do you think they will think of your policies and beliefs on climate change?

    In the end it doesn’t matter what they think, it doesn’t matter what you think, it doesn’t even matter what anyone thinks.

    It matters what we do.

    It matters how bloody hot the planet gets, how acidic the ocean gets.

    It matters how significant a transformation of the systems that support complex biological lifeforms occurs. Due to changes in the bio-geo-chemistry of the atmosphere and oceans. Caused it seems by us churning out millions and millions of years worth of stored carbon from deep inside the earth.

    They don’t like it… well they can always go and argue with the Sun and the sky.
    That should pay off in the long run eh.

  45. @ Quoll

    “In the end it doesn’t matter what they think”

    Exactly the response I was expecting sooner or later. Their opinions and concerns do not matter. the unwashed masses are too stupid to actually understand anything let alone be intelligent enough to ask the correct questions of us.

    “It matters what we do.”

    Who is we? You have just excluded the everyday citizen with your above dismissive comment about them so who is left to be doing the do?

    “It matters how bloody hot the planet gets”

    How hot will it get?

    “They don’t like it… well they can always go and argue with the Sun and the sky.”

    Nice way to try to sway [people to your point of view.
    Again this is the condescending and patronising tone I find in so many responses to somple questions.

  46. “Your questions and demands for answers does seem far too facile”

    You are asking everyone to change their whole way of living to combat climate change.

    They ask for answers to their questions and you find this not only tedious but exasperating that they have the nerve to “demand” answers from their betters.

    This is how such remarks as yours quoted above sound.

  47. What did you think of the video troll, sorry OTB?

    Did you actually watch and have a little think?

    See you have requested something some time ago under the pretence of being sincere.
    You were given an answer by me at 6.39pm [my time] and here it is an hour later and you have not bothered to go and get the answer to your questions but are still repeating them is slightly different guise trying the denialist tactic of ad homming the rest of the people here.

    Put up or shut up.
    Go watch the video.
    Have a think.

    Proceed from there.

  48. Using the internet wayback machine, I found a blog post from the late 1800s:

    *cue ye olde screen font*

    OnTheHorseLessCarriage enquires thus:

    Why should the colonial government levy this ‘sewer tax’ on the hard-working onion-boilers and cabbage-trimmers of our great British outpost?

    My house only contributes, well, far less than 1% of the shit and piss that daily makes its way down the gutters of Pitt St, towards the Tank Stream and Sydney Harbour.

    So what difference will it make if my home is connected to this untested, untried contraption? A negligible amount. And yet, I am being asked to pay for this with taxes from the hard-earned profits I made from my 9-year old candle fitting apprentices.

    Besides, so much of the ‘need’ for this tax is a whole lot of clap-trap called ‘germ theory’. Some sort of hocus-pocus mumbo-jumbo that illness is caused by these tiny homonculi called germs. When any wise bearded gent with huge mutton-chops could tell you that illness results from not stuffing enough onions down one’s trousers.

    Eventually, the man in the street will see through this ‘sewer tax’ for the rort it is, and wade through the rivers of shit to stage a revolt. And it will be truly revolting, I’ll wager!

  49. Wait! What’s this? A worm-hole in time has delivered us a blog post from 100 years hence. Behold!

    *cue Matrix-y future screen font*

    OnTheFlyingBus’s digital avatar mimeted:

    Look, I know there are only 101 trees left in the entire world. But seriously, if we chop down one more, it will be less than 1% of the world’s remaining trees.

    Seriously, with 101 trees left, what difference will it make if we chop down one more? These alarmists keep insisting that trees are important, but all trees do is take up space we need to accommodate all the refugees from that strangely persistent coastal flooding.

    Anyway, it’s less than 1% of the remaining trees. Maybe when we get down to 10 trees left, we should stop chopping then. ‘Cos, you know, if we chopped down 10% of the world’s remaining vegetation, it might do some damage.

  50. jumpnmcar: I found this link from CSIRO. This may help you as well. And tigtog sounds like she’s on the money at @40.

    OnTheBus@43 – try reading the last link at me@14. If that doesn’t satisfy you, then have a sail on the Good Ship Google, and then come back in a day or so after you’ve cooled down. LP is not a one stop shop for all your Climate Change Information needs. Arrogantly asking the same questions four times in a row would be enough to try anybody‘s patience, especially when it sounds you’re not listening to the answers.

  51. You are asking everyone to change their whole way of living to combat climate change.

    Yeah well, people get asked to change their whole way of living all the time. Like when their doctor tells them to lose the weight, stop the smoking, cut down the alcohol and red meat — or they’ll die young. And people still resist the advice even then, when it’s very personal and can prolong their life. How would you describe people who resist such advice? Here’s a hint: rhymes with “dignorant” and “benialist”.

    They ask for answers to their questions and you find this not only tedious but exasperating that they have the nerve to “demand” answers from their betters.

    Yep, a lot of doctors get tired as FUCK from seeing the same patients come in, year after year, with the same steadily-worsening complaints, and who just don’t ever take the advice. Who make excuses. Who fall back on the anecdote of their pack-a-day uncle who lived to 95. Who say ‘I’m just big-boned’. Until it’s too late.

    Our ‘betters’, in this case, are doctors of the ecosystem. And they are telling us we need to lose the weight, stop the smoking, cut down the alcohol and red meat.

    You can call the doctors a bunch of quacks, or you can try the weight-loss regimen. What’s it gonna be, fat boy?

  52. I think we otb and others are saying is that we reject the findings based on the computer models used by the IPCC. I am also concerned about the validity of the empirical temperature data, considering that temperature measuring stations on the ground measure not ambient temperature but a well known urban heat factor, due to the simple fact that temperature measuring stations which used to be in paddocks are now surrounded by concrete, air conditioning coils which emit heat and structures which reflect heat. The computer models are based on assumptions which appear to be invalid. The benficiaries of a carbon tax are the Government, the UN and the banks when we go to a full ETS.
    I, for one, don’t see any reason right now to give the banks their daily bread. On the scads of the information available on the good ship google, politicians need to answer the simple questions put by otb. These questions need to be answered and those answers need to be backed by good research.

  53. OTB – You are asking everyone to change their whole way of living to combat climate change.

    No

    Scientific research is telling us that what some people consider “their whole way of living” is collectively causing a destructive and unsustainable use of natural resources, significant climate change and a burden upon the biological systems that underpin everyones existence on planet earth.

    No-one here is an innocent bystander, our “way of living” is collectively the source of the problem at hand.

    We is everyone, whether any of us likes that or not.

    It matters to us what we think, but it matters not one whit to the Sun, sky and ocean.
    You can argue with them if you want.
    Ignorance (wilful or otherwise) is probably not something they will accept as a valid excuse when it comes to their ‘tough love’ regime.

  54. @60: If that is really your position you are wasting your time here (and ours).
    Did you read the post?

  55. Channeling @43:

    OK a simple line of questionms if someone , anyone can answer them for me to make things simple.

    I know Fran and others like to scream abuse and call people ignorant for not knowing the answers already, or call them trolls or some other form of crap.

    1) My blood alcohol level is too high by ‘A’ percent.
    2) I am still drinking. My blood alcohol will be be ‘B’ percent in “c” drinks if I do not reduce my intake.
    3) If the publican decides to stop serving me, it will reduce my blood alcohol by ‘D’ percent in “e” number of hours.
    4) The perfect level of blood alcohol is ‘F’ percent.
    5) To achieve this I should only drink ‘G’ beers before I get in the car and drive.
    6) This figure will result in me being ‘H’ hours later home than I would like. But I want to keep drinking and still drive home.

    Can somebody please fill in the values for A to H please.

    Or is that a trolling and ignorant thing to ask for?

    You see nobody ever gives these simple questions an answer. They only ever answer with “denialist!” , “troll!”, “ignorant!”, etc etc etc

  56. I think we otb and others are saying is that we reject the findings based on the computer models used by the IPCC.

    Gobsmacked: my problem isn’t with people who reject the findings per se. My problem is with people who argue for doing nothing at all to mitigate climate change, because they are utterly certain that the findings are wrong. That’s evil. People will die in any circumstance, but doing nothing because it’s “too hard” or “too expensive” (both untrue) is just contemptible when the results are additional megadeaths… no, gigadeaths from drought, flooding and famine.

    Like it or not: there’s a sizable risk that climate change is happening, and other evidence beyond the IPCC points to it happening. Notice the melting glaciers in the Himalayas, and decline in Arctic summer ice?

    I think you’re putting words in OTB’s mouth – I can’t remember him being as coherent as to argue about computer models. Rather, I remember him arrogantly twisting the sterile plastic snoot of a fully charged ink anointment utensil while asking the same question over and over again, despite being given the answers in the same thread. That’s not honest inquiry. That’s just bad manners – and LAZY. Take his post at @43:

    1) The planet is already too hot by ‘A’ degrees.
    2) the planet is still heating up. It will be ‘B’ degrees in “c” years if we do not put a price on carbon.
    3) If the whole world agrees to put a price on carbon it will reduce the planets heat by ‘D’ degrees in “e” number of years.

    Well, I say unto him: learn to read a graph. See my last link in comment 14? All the data is there to find A, B, c, and so on. It’s really up to him to do the hard yards.

    As Possum Pollytics said (on a post about the CSIRO’s report on insulation):

    I’m all for argument…. especially *after* someone actually reads the *very* document that answers their questions.

    There are plenty of places around the net where mountains of lazy, ill informed crap gets vented and treated with far more respect than it deserves.

    This ain’t one of them.

    Geddit?

  57. Gobsmacked @ 9, I’m afraid all I have to say is that Watts is a proven unreliable source, around 100% wrong or misleading, so I wouldn’t spend 5 seconds on whatever he is claiming about anything.

    People like Tamino at Open Mind continually call him to account (see for example this recent post on sea level) but he is quite incorrigible.

    OnTheBus, I was inclined to think you just knew little about climate science and the effects of global warming, but whatever residual goodwill there may be rapidly evaporates if you don’t take advantage when pointed in the direction of information as per hannah’s dad.

    Let me turn to your original questions @ 4:

    A carbon tax in Australia will cool the world by how much?

    If there is a number how long will it take to acheive this goal?

    Fran is right in saying what is proposed is not a carbon tax, but a fixed price period as a lead-in to an emissions trading system.

    As to how much the world will cool, a calculation has been done by Bob Carter, a noted sceptic/denialist/contrarian. I don’t automatically accept his figuring but he’s probably in the ball park. If so the answer is infinitesimally small.

    But this is not the point. A start has to be made. The task is large and what is proposed is a small first step.

    We know by common agreement that we need at the very least to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. I think we need to get to zero net by 2030.

    We know that the later we reduce emissions the harder and deeper we have to cut. It will rapidly get to a situation that he have to go net negative within 50 years if we don’t act soon. Have a look at Figure 3 in this post and you’ll get the picture.

    What the policy seeks is behavioural change on the part of the 1000 biggest polluters and of consumers generally. We need monitoring to see what change eventuates. So precise quantities are impossible.

    What we need is to begin the transition to a low carbon economy from one of the highest carbon economies in the world. Christine Milne in stating her minimum requirements the other day is obviously concerned to see that happen. If it doesn’t the policy is a false start.

    Wayne Swan and Gillard understand this and repeatedly say that we can’t afford to be left behind. It’s not in our long-term economic interests, let alone the future of the planet.

  58. Every week there’s a new “skeptic” or “denialist” or “ordinary Australian” that trolls these climate threads, and I think it’s time to start ignoring them. If people really have questions then they can use this amazing website at http://www.google.com , or they can do what I like to do in these threads, which is to ‘shut up and learn’.

  59. Gobsmacked,

    You, clearly, were not smacked hard enough. You brain is still in need of a jolt to get it working properly. To suggest that the global temperature profile has been drawn form a few suburban back yard thermometers demonstrates this.

  60. Down & Out didn’t disclose his debt to the late Frank Zappa when saying:

    I remember him arrogantly twisting the sterile plastic snoot of a fully charged ink anointment utensil …

    I thought you were a man, but you’re nothing but a muffin …

    Luckily, I like muffins.

  61. Brian: You say:

    Fran is right in saying what is proposed is not a carbon tax, but a fixed price period as a lead-in to an emissions trading system.

    Fran is merely playing with words. Both the carbon tax and the government’s version of ETS are defacto taxes in the sense that they generate government revenue. (The CPRS was merely a complex way of using short term market speculation to set the tax.)
    While I have no inherent problem with governments raising taxes I do have a problem with defacto carbon taxes because they add to the price increase that voters feel as a result of climate action. This impact is not negligible. At the start of the cleanup program 100% of the price increases will go to paying the tax and associated administration cost. It is the size of these tax driven price increases that is giving the Abbott campaign traction and providing the impetus for all the compensation claims.
    What really pisses me off is that, if you asked the average voter (or LP commentator) whether was using a cap and trade system to drive down emissions, the answer would be “NO”. Yet the reality is that we have been using the MRET and it’s predecessors for years to drive investment in renewables.
    Ironically, one of the reasons they don’t know is that the MRET has at its core an offset credit trading scheme that doesn’t generate government revenue. (It is a complex way of using short term market speculation to set a levy on dirty electricity that is used to subsidize renewable electricity.
    As you well know I think that there are better ways of driving investment in clean electricity . However, using the MRET (with more challenging targets) to drive investment in clean electricity is far better than the government proposals because the price increases are much, much lower.
    See here for more on theuse of offset credit trading to reduce power related emissions

  62. C’mon, Fran. (Rolls eyes in exasperation tinged with respect.)

    ‘Course it’s a Zappa quote – I just recustomised it as a snowclone. I expected the LP regulars to know the origin instantly, and even visitors such as OnTheBus would probably be familiar with it. It didn’t need no explanation, IHMO.

    I may be mistaken, but I gather you’re a teacher. Do you force your students to write 1000 word essays (with multiple references) on the hermeneutics of “Knock, knock” jokes or “Why did the chicken cross the road?” What a joy they would be to write.

  63. Brian @ 66, as I understand it, if everyone in the world stopped emitting CO2 tomorrow, we wouldn’t get a temperature drop for maybe 1000 years, particularly as we’ve got around 1 – 2 degrees rise already built in. It just means we’ll avoid an utterly catastrophic rise of, say, 6 degrees.

    I’d be delighted to be proved wrong, btw.

  64. David, the temperature could be brought down more quickly by re-forestation.

  65. There was a very interesting item on RN’s By Design this morning about Sydney city moving to co-generation – installing a gas-fired power station where the waste hot water is piped to buildings and industry rather than literally going to waste as in most of our fossil-fuel driven power generation at present, wasting 60% of the energy used to heat the water in the first place. The interviewee saw this as saving both the 60% normally wasted, and saving everybody not in the Sydney CBD the cost of distribution infrastructure for peak usage that is currently the main driver of price rises. The best thing about it is that it makes good commercial sense right now, even without a carbon price. Gave me a bit of hope, it did.

  66. DI(nr) @ 74

    yes, you would be wrong. A pleasing thing perhaps, give the answer.

    If everyone stopped emitting (which is impossible), CO2 concentrations would almost immediately begin to fall. Temperature would follow in a couple of decades.

    This is because about 45% of human-generated emissions are being taken up by natural sources.

    The temperature not falling for hundreds of years would be if concentrations were held constant. You’re referring to the Solomon et al. 2009 experiment that was heavily publicised around the Copenhagen meeeting. This would allow some human emissions – maybe 1/3rd of today’s (don’t have time to dig into the simple model I have, to find out exactly).

    There are several places where emissions and climate can be measured. Emissions, concentrations, radiation levels, temperature. They all have different lag effects when they change.

  67. Roger @77

    If everyone stopped emitting CO2 concentrations would almost immediately begin to fall. Temperature would follow in a couple of decades.

    This is because about 45% of human-generated emissions are being taken up by natural sources.

    The temperature not falling for hundreds of years would be if concentrations were held constant

    Sorry, don’t quite follow you. Could you please exapnd on your answer a little?

  68. @77
    “If everyone stopped emitting (which is impossible), CO2 concentrations would almost immediately begin to fall. Temperature would follow in a couple of decades.

    Tim Flannery says a thousand years not 20 years.

  69. Don’t have time to entertain buses and cars. Because those questions are simply framed and a simple answer is demanded, there’s no point really, because there are no simple answers. Here’s a hint, though.

    The social cost of carbon is defined as the net present value of the incremental damage due to a small increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

    The median estimates of the social cost of carbon ranges from $15–$74 in US$ 1995 per tonne C depending on how the distribution was assessed and the mean ranged from $88–$127 per tonne C (Tol, 2009; Watkiss, 2011). Converted into US$ 2010 dollars and tonnes CO2, those ranges are US$6–US$27 and US$33–US$47 per tonne of CO2, respectively. However, these costs are calculated from 1990 to 2000 baselines, so will not reflect the social cost of carbon emitted now. Those costs will be higher, due to climate change being greater.

    There is a lot of evidence for these costs being under-estimated because the economic models used do not measure extreme events and non-linear damages very well.

    Current Australian emissions are about 600 million tonnes CO2-equivalent. If we take the range of mean damages per tonne, that converts into $19.8 – $28.2 billion in future damages per year. That’s roughly 1.6-2.3% of annual GDP or the price the future pays to keep us in iphones and plasma TVs. Given the carbon price is meant to be roughly revenue neutral that would price in part of this damage without too great a bottom-line cost. The largest cost will be adjustment costs as the economy makes the transition to low CO2.

    The absolute damage will be reduced as quickly as CO2 production is displaced by the carbon price. This is as easy to answer as asking what impact would a 0.5% increase in interest rates have on employment? It’s one reason why a carbon price is necessary but not sufficient.

    In many places, waste is now taxed to reduce landfill. It works. Sulphate aerosols are priced to reduce acid rain. It works. Consumer goods should have the disposal/recycling costs in the purchase price to reduce waste. It works.

    Haven’t blog-posted for a bit – too busy finishing off papers and writing grant proposals. This climate change business is lucrative, what?

  70. Tim Flannery made pretty much the same error as DI(nr) did (DI’s is much more excusable – he’s an expert on sourdough, not climate). It was immediately corrected by Professor Will Steffen of ANU, something that certain denizens of the media have no interest in promoting.

  71. “Tim Flannery made pretty much the same error”

    Is Flannery not our foremost expert on Climate Change?

    How could our best expert get this so wrong?

  72. JohnD said:

    Both the carbon tax {interim fixed permit price phase of the ETS you naughty boy} and the government’s version of ETS are de facto taxes in the sense that they generate government revenue. {my emphasis and emendment}

    If the IFPPP is a de facto tax then it is not a de jure tax. Taxes are not “taxes in the sense that they generate government revenue”. Lots of things generate government revenue. The RBA trades in the dollar and this produces government revenue without being a tax, de facto or de jure. When the government folgged off Telstra, this too generated government revenue without being called a tax. To call all government revenue not only debauches the language but also debauches public policy discussion in ways that serve the populist right. Tony Abbott dines out on this every day with a free pass from people who ought to know better but apparently don’t and so are scoring repeated own goals.

  73. oops …

    When the government folgged {flogged} off Telstra, this too generated government revenue without being called a tax. To call all government revenue {tax} not only debauches …

  74. Fran
    Its a tax.
    All the leading economists call it a tax, so its a tax.
    Consensus among the experts , and all that.

  75. Giles @ 79,

    At the moment there is about 11 gigatonnes of carbon emitted as CO2. About 45% of this is being absorbed by the oceans and 55% stays in the atmosphere.

    So if someone says we stopped emitting tomorrow, that would drop to zero. Natural sources would then take net CO2 out of the atmosphere. There would be a brief period of continued warming, then the lower CO2 would reduce radiative forcing and temperatures would cool. What happens then we don’t know because the experiments in coupled models haven’t been run. The already warmer oceans would ‘buffer’ or slow that cooling.

    But when we say if current forcing or concentrations are maintained, that implicitly needs some emissions to keep those concentrations where they are (or at 600 ppm, 700 ppm or whatever). There is at least 0.6C in the system now from past emissions. The experiment that was run with constant concentrations kept warming for hundreds of years because the oceans keep emitting heat into the atmosphere until the two reach equilibrium.

    Hope that helps

  76. Hey OntheBus, what did you think of my video link?

    You know the one you haven’t mentioned, or, come to think of it, thank me for directing you to it.
    *Sigh*

    Did you like the bits where they explained how they know the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been caused by human activity?

    And how human caused greenhouse gases like CO2 actually cause atmospheric [and then global] warming?

    What about the graph that showed the increases in global temps in recent times with the trend line getting warmer?
    Going up from left [then] to right [now and in the future].
    That as one of your original wuestions wasn’t it [before you switched to other thingies like mentioning Flannery]?

    Maybe you preferred the bits where they showed the impact on sea level, plant and animal life this AGW [human caused global warming] is causing?
    You know [cos you watched the video and had a think didn’t you?] the changes in crop locations, bird behaviour and so on.

    Hey you wouldn’t deny any of the above would you?

    Or would you?

    Set us straight.
    You accept AGW as real fact don’t you?
    And its consequences eg Arctic ice melting faster.

    Hmmm?

  77. jumpnmcar,

    it’s a Pigouvian tax: a tax levied on a market activity that generates negative externalities. Let’s use the language and definitions used by leading economists.

    Leading economists would tell you that not all taxes are the same, nor do they all behave in the same way when levied.

    Leading politicians might try and say something different.

  78. jumpnmcar tried:

    Its a tax. All the leading economists call it a tax, so its a tax.

    Cite? Lots of journalists call it a tax out of intellectual indolence, but I’m yet to hear “a leading economist” call it a tax.

    Consensus among the experts , and all that.

    Putting aside the absence of any evidence of a consensus amongst leading economists on this question, you misunderstand the pertinence of “consensus” which is typical of climate-change mitigation opponents. Consensus in science describes a position that has been sufficiently evaluated by methods capable of independent corroboration to become the starting point for analysis of a problem. This doesn’t make it a dogma, but it does challenge those who want to depart from it to point to flaws in the reasoning, modelling or data underlying the consensus serious enough to diminish its usefulness in further areas of study or in policy formation. Those wishing to take this road must be able to withstand the same kind of challenge since in effect, they are proposing at least one alternative and excluding hypothesis. Typically, all of the reasoning underlying the consensus and any challenge to it would be fully documented in journals of scientific record so that those with an interest could follow it and contribute.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no body of analysis of this standard by leading economists describing the IFPPP as “a tax”, and if you can point me to one, I’d be happy to examine it so that we can avoid a sterile semantic exchange on the matter. In the interim, one can say that only the intellectually indolent or those seeking to advantage the opponents of mitigation will call this phase of the ETS proposal a tax.

    Once again, you demonstrate the vacuity of the enemies of sound public policy.

  79. Roger said:

    it’s a Pigouvian tax: a tax levied on a market activity that generates negative externalities.

    It’s settled law Roger that taxes are fees unconnected with the supply of goods or services. Thus, a Pigouvian (or “sumptuary”) tax might be an excise on luxury cars or on ermine robes — as was the case apparently in ancient Rome. It is clear that the the opportunity to dump waste into the common biosphere is a service provided by the commons to private individuals, not greatly different from me taking my waste to the local tip. If the biosphere were owned by Microsoft or Exxon and they charged for releasing into their atmosphere, nobody would call this a tax. If those companies were seized by the state then the nature of the transaction would not have changed, and it would still be a charge but doubtless, our RW populists would take a different view, because the recipient would be an object of their animus. Animus towards the commons is not a good basis for economic or legal nomenclature.

    Let’s use the language and definitions used by leading economists.

    Let’s use language that reveals the social character of arrangements amongst humans rather than language that obscures it.

  80. Down & Out said:

    I may be mistaken, but I gather you’re a teacher. Do you force your students to write 1000 word essays (with multiple references) on the hermeneutics of “Knock, knock” jokes or “Why did the chicken cross the road?” What a joy they would be to write.

    No, I don’t, but then, these would not be relevant to my KLA-specified outcomes. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be a good idea. 😉

    I’d love to be in a setting where I could do that and hope to be pleased with the results.

    I really was just doing a bit of in-humour from a fellow Zappa fan.

  81. Jeez Fran,

    you can harp on a technicality that pretty much no-one is observing in public discourse. Or you can get up to speed with the literature of climate economics where tax and levy is used interchangeably. Tax is being used to describe the alternative to the ‘other’ instrument – the market price or cap and trade.

    Metcalf, G.E. (2009) Designing a Carbon Tax to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 3, 63-83.

    Callan, T., Lyons, S., Scott, S., Tol, R.S.J. and Verde, S. (2009) The distributional implications of a carbon tax in Ireland. Energy Policy, 37, 407-412.

    Galinato, G.I. and Yoder, J.K. An integrated tax-subsidy policy for carbon emission reduction. Resource and Energy Economics, 32, 310-326.

    Goulder, L.H. and Parry, I.W.H. (2008) Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy. Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, 2, 152-174.

    The choice of pollution control instrument is a crucial environmental policy decision. We examine the extent to which various environmental policy instruments meet major evaluation criteria, including cost-effectiveness, distributional equity, the ability to address uncertainties, and political feasibility. Instruments considered include emissions taxes, tradable emissions allowances, subsidies for emissions reductions, performance standards, mandates for the adoption of specific technologies, and subsidies for research toward new, “clean” technologies. We consider policies that address pollution externalities and policies that deal with market failures associated with efforts to invent or deploy new technologies. Several themes emerge. First, no single instrument is clearly superior along all the dimensions relevant to policy choice; even the ranking along a single dimension often depends on the circumstances involved. Second, significant trade-offs arise in the choice of instrument: for example, assuring a reasonable degree of distributional equity will often require a sacrifice of cost-effectiveness. Third, it is sometimes desirable to design hybrid instruments that combine features of various “pure” instruments. Fourth, for many pollution problems, more than one market failure may be involved, which may justify (on efficiency grounds, at least) employing more than one instrument. Finally, potential interactions among environmental policy instruments and among regulatory jurisdictions need to be carefully considered.

    I reproduce this abstract, not because it supports taxes per se, but it skewers the single solution mantra that abounds in the media and encroaches sometimes on LP.

  82. Roger said:

    Tax is being used to describe the alternative to the ‘other’ instrument – the market price or cap and trade.

    Save that here, the ‘tax’ is merely a firming instrument for the other instrument — a cap and trade scheme.

    The use of the term ‘tax’ here is laziness at best. See Commonwealth v Air Caledonie (1988) for example.

  83. Roger and others re the CO2 flux-
    using Roger’s figures of 11 gigatonnes emitted by man the total flow between sinks and emissions I thought was balancing the approximately 223 gigatonnes/year emissions versus 213 gigatonnes/year of absorption – all sinks included.
    It is the slow accumulation of CO2 which results from this imbalance which drives the atmospheric and other changes.
    For example I was quoted 5.5 gigatonnes for manmade emissions last time I looked but now it has jumped to 11.
    The overall difference jumps from 4 gigatonnes excess to 10.
    The 45% / 55 % split resembles the oceans absorption of 90 gigatonnes/year while landsinks absorb 121.8 gigatonnes/year of the total absorption.

  84. Roger,

    Won’t a change in atmospheric carbon also be buffered by the oceans? IIRC, if we reduce our carbon input into the atmosphere, the oceans will shift from adsorbing to emitting carbon, because they act as a buffer on atmospheric carbon, particularly in the Southern Ocean.

    So I’m not sure you’ll go from extra carbon in the atmosphere to no carbon in the atmosphere in quite as short a time as you’re suggesting. However this really requires better coupled models as you suggest, and I’m not sure things like MOM/GOLD/whatever are quite up to that stage yet.

  85. Murph,

    thanks

    in 1990, fossil fuel emissions were about 6 Gt (pretty close to your 5.5). Now, they’re closer to 8.7 Gt C. Land-use I was working on was 1.4 Gt C, but I think the carbon project has recently come down to about 0.9 Gt C. Haven’t updated those yet. Thanks for picking up the 11 – should have been 10 GtC rounded (hit the wrong key). With the land-use update, that would be about 9.6 GtC but I need to update my land-use data.

    The good news is the sinks have kept the proportion of CO2 absorbed about the same over time and there is disagreement as to whether or not they are getting less efficient (they are expected to get less efficient with warmer temps).

    Have just checked the carbon equivalent emissions of all Kyoto gases – they’re about 13.5 Gt C-equivalent, and that is using the lower land-use emissions.

  86. Jess @99,

    yes, I recall something along those lines. This is one reason why although overshoot is necessary, it is really uncertain. I suspect the ocean sink will just become proportionally less efficient. I would rather take that chance than test methane in permafrost, for example.

    There’s little doubt the way back down is shallower and slower than the way up.

    And the no carbon was the straw-man question, none of my doing. People are always asking that one, and getting the emissions-concentration thing confused.

  87. murph the surf
    You may be someone who help with my question @34
    I would appreciate the help.

  88. @ 91. Hannah’s Dad

    “You know the one you haven’t mentioned, or, come to think of it, thank me for directing you to it.
    *Sigh*”

    Why the sighing?

    Try post 76

  89. OTB
    Post 76 is by Hal9000.

    Please be more precise.

    Oh, I have noted that you have not responded to my questions.

    Did you watch the video?
    Cool video isn’t it?

    Answers at least one of your problems directly and provides the necessary to proceed further doesn’t it?
    All in a tiny 10 mins..

    And surely you don’t deny the basic points of the video.
    Do you?

    Or will you evade again?

  90. Jumpncar 34,

    These things have been studied in great depth. There is no one figure as CO2 release (or absorption) and Methane release are highly variable dependent upon climate, season, weather, events and human activity. Obviously during a very wet period as we have had recently CO2 absorption dramatically increases. Then as drying sets in CO2 and methane release returns. Then bushfires can complete the cycle even burning all of the humus that attempts to form in the soil leaving a sandy low carbon content surface. This is Australia’s blight.

    So there is no fixed answer other than Australia is a poor CO2 sink due to its very dry huge expance.

  91. @106

    I don’t know why but post 76 on my screen says it is mine at 1:42pm today.

    “Please be more precise.”

    i cannot be more precise than what is says on my screen. Could you check again?

    “Oh, I have noted that you have not responded to my questions.

    Did you watch the video?”

    I have addressed these in my post.
    Why the baiting Hannah’s dad? Try reading my post.

    “Cool video isn’t it?”

    I don’t think it will win an OSCAR 😉

    “And surely you don’t deny the basic points of the video.
    Do you?

    I do not deny the premise of the video. The points are worrying if totally accurate.
    I have read a lot of information regarding the integrity of a lot of Institutions interpretting the raw DATA and the squeezing of DATA to fit models and a pre-determined result.

    These integrity questions are what I need sorting out.


    Or will you evade again?”

    I take it you did not bother to read my post at 76 then?

  92. Ah I have just noticed my post is still awaiting moderation 6 1/2 hours after I posted it.

    It is 500 words long at a guess and i address many posts by different people in it.

    That is why it is not showing as post 76 on anyone elses monitor.

  93. OK

    But you still haven’t responded about the video nor whether or not you acknowledge the reality of AGW and its consequences.

    So that is another evasion on your part.

    They do get noticed.

  94. Hannah’s Dad

    “OK

    So that is another evasion on your part.

    They do get noticed.”

    Did you not understand the part where i told you that I did adress your points in my post nearly 7 hours ago.
    Not my fault they havent loaded it for you to read.

    How is this an evasion on my part.

  95. BilbB

    From98 .””” I thought was balancing the approximately 223 gigatonnes/year emissions versus 213 gigatonnes/year of absorption – all sinks included.””

    Is this near the mark? Can we calculate the entire planet,but not specific areas?
    Sorry if I misinterpret murph’s comment.
    By “””absorption – all sinks included.”” , does that mean sequestration , in the context.

  96. That’s yet another evasion OtB.
    They are really mounting up.

    How long does it take to type:
    “Yes I did watch the video”
    Or
    “No I did’nt watch the video”

    And”
    “Of course I know AGW is real and the consequences of such are dire”
    Or:
    “I’m a denialist of AGW”.

    See, all that only took me a few minutes and I’m a lousy typist.

    Did you watch the video?
    Cool isn’t it, the way it provides overwhelming evidence for:
    -a natural greenhouse effect
    -that has been enhanced and measured by human activity producing greenhouse gases
    -which is resulting in dramatic changes in our planet eg Arctic Ice, animal and plant behavior including crops, weather phenomena?

  97. Hmmm Hannahs Dad i think you are starting to be antagonistic on purpose here.

    you at 113
    “That’s yet another evasion OtB.
    They are really mounting up.

    How long does it take to type:
    “Yes I did watch the video”
    Or
    “No I did’nt watch the video”

    Have you read my post @108 on my screen.

  98. hannahs dad

    He posted his answers, its in moderation.
    Just because you didn’t read it , doesn’t mean he didn’t post it.

    The old tree falls in the forest thing.
    Move on. ( insert thumb up sign here)

  99. 1) Smoking ‘A’ cigarettes per day reduces life expectancy by ‘B’ years.

    2) A tax rate of “c” cents per cigarette will reduce total consumption in Australia by ‘D’ packs per year.

    3) The resultant increase of “e” months in life expectancy will result in a saving of ‘F’ dollars per year in health care costs.

    OTB, wold you care to fill in the numbers, providing detailed accounting and actuarial evidence?

    If you don’t, or if any of your figures are incorrect, you will have proved that regular smoking prolongs life and should be encouraged in creches.

  100. Hey jumpy
    He continues to evade.

    It aint antagonistic to count evasions.

    Its a common denialist trick, evasing I mean..

    Make a short silly comment, in OtB’s case that included a request for precise info re global warming temps.
    When people answer the denialist either denies the answer and/or moves on to something else.
    And repeats that process.
    Interminably.

    What I did, out of the goodness of my heart, was give him a source [as he requested], a short sharp and shiny source, that answered some of his questions.

    And he has not acknowledged such.

    Could have done so at comment #108. 0r #110. Or #113
    But didn’t.

    Evasion.

  101. Giles @103,

    the principle was fine but the 11 Gt C is wrong – it’s somewhere (probably) between 9.5 and 10 Gt C. See the later post where I responded to Murph @100 and realised I’d over-estimated. Because of uncertainty in the carbon cycle we know what the concentration is with high certainty, country emissions with less (mainly due to developing country accounting) and land-use with even less certainty. So we know the fulcrum of the balance well but not either side (sources and sinks) in the carbon balance equation.

  102. Hanny’s Daddy
    His original post @4

    “”””A carbon tax in Australia will cool the world by how much?

    If there is a number how long will it take to acheive this goal?””””

    I notice you evaded this .And your not a denier.

    He asked for two (ballpark) numbers.

    If ya don’t KNOW, don’t ANSWER.

  103. @OnTheBus,

    if you want to know why one particular comment of yours was unapproved for publication, why don’t you actually read the comments policy and follow the suggested procedure?

  104. At 34- http://www.climatechange.gov.au/~/media/publications/greenhouse-acctg/nggi-2011.pdf
    By reading through this document hopefully a few answers about Australia’s emissions will be cleared up but as with many internet searches there seem to be multiple answers!
    The total figures I referred to before are from an IPCC document and were an old NASA graphic – maybe quite old now.
    .
    http://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography/ocean-earth-system/ocean-carbon-cycle/
    This link includes a graphic which represents the ability of areas of the earth to absorb CO2 – as you can see Australia has a variety of capacities but the overall effect is not one of great absorption.

  105. jumpncar
    Actually several people [Lefty and Fran from memory plus others] answered his first question at #4, pretty well I thought.
    And he did the denialist trick of shifting goals, moving on.

    So I responded to his #44 request for info re global heating.

    And gave a link to a video by Peter Sinclair’s [I think] Denialist Crock of the Week series which illustrates how denialists like to ask questions but aren’t really interested in the answers.

    But OtB hasn’t directly responded since.

    Standard denialist tactic.

    Nice of you to go to bat for him tho’.

  106. Hmmm Hannahs dad

    “And gave a link to a video by Peter Sinclair’s [I think] Denialist Crock of the Week series which illustrates how denialists like to ask questions but aren’t really interested in the answers.

    But OtB hasn’t directly responded since.

    Standard denialist tactic.

    Ok lets see.. I spent a good hour or so making a post that responded to your and other peoples posts directed at me. this was at about 1/45 this afternoon.

    You say I did not repond to your qauestion regarding the video you linked.

    I said I did respond and to look at the post i made ealrier. I had not realised it had been rejected.

    @106 hannah accuses me again of evasion.
    It is at this point I realise my answers to him had not been posted. So i answered his question about the video link @108

    Again you ask for my comments on the video and I answered in this post:

    Hannah : “Cool video isn’t it?”

    Me : I don’t think it will win an OSCAR 😉

    Hannah :“And surely you don’t deny the basic points of the video.
    Do you?

    Me: I do not deny the premise of the video. The points are worrying if totally accurate.
    I have read a lot of information regarding the integrity of a lot of Institutions interpretting the raw DATA and the squeezing of DATA to fit models and a pre-determined result.

    These integrity questions are what I need sorting out.

    @110 hannah again accuses me of ignoring his video link and not commenting on it.

    Again i respond that I have answered him

    @113 Hannah again accuses me of not looking at his video link
    “That’s yet another evasion OtB.
    They are really mounting up.

    How long does it take to type:
    “Yes I did watch the video”
    Or
    “No I did’nt watch the video””

    I have already told you I have watched it , I even commented on it.

    @117 Hannah again says I havent told him if I have watched his video.

    How many times must I say I have?

  107. @120 TigTog

    “why don’t you actually read the comments policy and follow the suggested procedure?”

    I have actually read it. Nice false assumption btw.

    My post broke none of the rules listed.

  108. OtB

    Ta for responding, I must say you did mention the video at number 107.
    I missed that.
    Careless of me.
    Sorry.

    What worries you about that video?

    It cited scientific evidnce from a variety of studies that show overwhelmingly that the climate is changing [it gave a graph with several inputs plus a trend line to that effect], it showed that the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere can be identified as human in origin and showed the paper that explained how that is done, it showed via some cute animation how greenhouse gases, natural and human enhanced, operate to control the earth’s temps, it showed a map of changing flora patterns resulting from climate change and all of that and more in 10 minutes.
    As a small sample of the wealth of material, literally billions of bits of info and thousands of rigourous papers on the subject[s].

    Whats your problem with this?

    Because this is the reality we have to face, things like sea level rising becuse of climate change [the original topic of this thread] and we have to do something positive yesterday.

    Do you accept AGW as fact?

    Brcause all else flows from that.

  109. @On The Bus,

    My post broke none of the rules listed.

    For starters, I’m the arbiter of that, not you. For seconds,

    No public discussion will be entered into regarding moderation decisions. If readers or commenters have queries about this policy, they may email the site or its contributors.

    Excessively long comments, which break up the give and take of discourse. Please post such screeds on your own blog and post a summary in comments with a link to your own post. Rule of thumb: think hard before adding a fourth paragraph to your comment – rewrite it for brevity and clarity.

    Further discussion will take place via email only. If you attempt to discuss this moderation decision on-blog you will be placed into permanent moderation.

  110. At the risk of actually talking about Brian’s posts, I wanted to add another possible feedback to the statements about warmer oceans bubbling out CO2.

    In addition to this effect (kind of like how a can of coke has loses its bubbles when it’s warm), we can also expect a stronger meridional overturning, because of stronger winds in the Southern Ocean (since warmer ocean = more energy in atmosphere).

    The deep water from basins to the north (like the North Atlantic Deep Water) which acts as the longest CO2 buffer, will be exposed more rapidly than it is at the moment. This increased degassing would act as another feedback to speed things up.

  111. @ Adrian

    “OnTheBus – haven’t you got anything useful do do?”

    Thanks for reading my posts 🙂 Most nice of you.

    Reading my posts is beneficial for you.

  112. Jess,

    Its all part of the acceleration effect that means that once the tipping point is reached (if it has not already) there will be no way to prevent crippling climate change.

    Many years ago a friend (geologist) was living on the Woronora river. In the delightful warmth of a summers evening after a dinner party my friend decided that we should all enjoy the moonlit evening stillness of the river in his canoe. He held the boat as we all, in our evening finery, got into the boat, then he stepped in as he cast off. As he was by a reasonable margin the heaviest the water now was right up to the gunwale. It was not long before a tiny amount of water came aboard, then a little more, then a lot more, then as we all four laughed the boat sank. It was very funny.

    The problem is that this is exactly the situation of our environment with CO2, methane, ocean and atmospheric temperatures temperatures, population, energy needs, fossil fuel consumption.

    I remember as a kid reading an quote in Life magazine which presented the idea that “the future will be defined not by great simplifiers, but by great complexifiers”. No truer words were ever uttered.

    Brian and yourself have talked at length about the many aspects that are affected by warming in our natural world. The full understanding is in their complex interconnection. Athough the visible effects of global warming are clearly evidident in any one, and every one, of these systems, it is the interactive feedback (as you point out) of each into the other that make the end result to which we are hurtling truly scary.

  113. Fran nails it!

    It is clear that the the opportunity to dump waste into the common biosphere is a service provided by the commons to private individuals, not greatly different from me taking my waste to the local tip. If the biosphere were owned by Microsoft or Exxon and they charged for releasing into their atmosphere, nobody would call this a tax.

    The environment is exploited for financial gain by the capitalist system in so many ways it is hard to actually envisage how capitalism would exist if it could not take a cheap or free environmental resource and add “value” to it for profit. Pollution, be it the ugly industrial type which destroys local ecosystems or the diffuse carbon style which is being debated here, is a classic example of how capitalism works. Essentially we have a problem of translation. The intrinsic value of the environment to all living things cannot be expressed in monetary terms. Culturally, the exploitative nature of western capitalism has consistently viewed our biologically shared environment as simply a resource to be exploited for financial gain. The cost to the environment can only be expressed in terms of the monetary cost of any remedial work which ignores anything beyond the human sphere.

    The imposition of a tax on carbon (however that is to be calculated) might be a positive start but there is a problem here and it seems to me that the financial cost is culturally disconnected from any value system modern society in general places on the environment other than as a resource for human growth. Because of such a disconnect, people can argue in detached terms about whether a tax will make any difference to the world. The tax is something they can directly relate to whereas the world is something brought to them via the media.

  114. Fran nails it!

    It is clear that the the opportunity to dump waste into the common biosphere is a service provided by the commons to private individuals, not greatly different from me taking my waste to the local tip. If the biosphere were owned by Microsoft or Exxon and they charged for releasing into their atmosphere, nobody would call this a tax.

    The environment is exploited for financial gain by the capitalist system in so many ways it is hard to actually envisage how capitalism would exist if it could not take a cheap or free environmental resource and add “value” to it for profit. Pollution, be it the ugly industrial type which destroys local ecosystems or the diffuse carbon style which is being debated here, is a classic example of how capitalism works. Essentially we have a problem of translation. The intrinsic value of the environment to all living things cannot be expressed in monetary terms. Culturally, the exploitative nature of western capitalism has consistently viewed our biologically shared environment as simply a resource to be exploited for financial gain. The cost to the environment can only be expressed in terms of the monetary cost of any remedial work which ignores anything beyond the human sphere.

    The imposition of a tax on carbon (however that is to be calculated) might be a positive start but there is a problem here and it seems to me that the financial cost is culturally disconnected from any value system modern society in general places on the environment other than as a resource for human growth. Because of such a disconnect, people can argue in detached terms about whether a tax will make any difference to the world. The tax is something they can directly relate to whereas the world is something brought to them via the media.

    PS. I really wish LP had a preview option for comments…

    [Tag fixed now, I think – Brian]

  115. Can someone please answer my simple questions:

    1) Which members of Star Fleet academy attended the wedding of Princess Leia and Jabba the Hutt?
    2) In which episode of the Harry Potter franchise did Homer Simpson quit his job at the Kwik-e-Mart?
    3) In order to become so good at chess, how many years did Jason Bourne spend training in the Batcave?
    4) Before starring in The Matrix, what role was Patrick Swayze best known for?

    If you can’t provide a straightforward answer to the above, then don’t expect me to accept your assertions that Hollywood exists. I am entitled to my opinion!

  116. Mercurius

    My answer to all 4 of your questions is “I don’t know”
    It wasn’t hard.
    I have the magic ability to say the words” I don’t know”
    Give it a try, when your alone , in a small room, with the light off, just try it” I don’t know”.
    I think you can do it, if ya try,really hard.
    It’s not a crime to say ” I don’t know”
    Some consider it an honest thing to do.

  117. Mercurius, mercurius..

    Leila was enslaved by Jabba not married voluntarily, hence the premise of your question is fundamentally flawed. Unless you think members of Star Fleet are secretly abducting young women to be sold on the intergalactic sex slave market?

    Homer is a fiction who embodies many desirable features for the average modern North American male. Unfortunately Harry Potter’s wizardry world is more closely aligned with culture from the UK where Kwik-e-Marts fail to be materialised, unless one recites the secret script of MurdocianaSubservienta. Your mistake is elementary, Homer and Harry, despite both appearing by the magic of animation, are nonetheless dissimilar beings who inhabit different worlds.

    Jason Bourne doesn’t play chess. He prefers a more realistic version of combat where strategy consists in knowing everything but your own name.

    The Matrix…oh I get it, this is a trick question! His best work was in Dirty Dancing, a part which inspired Neo to learn some fancy footwork so you could say he was there (in the Matrix) in spirit 😉

    What was you opinion?

  118. @jumpnmcar, either you are just as ignorant about recent landmarks in popular culture as you are about climatology, or Mercurius’ point just went whooshing far, far, far above your head. Or perhaps you are merely being wilfully obtuse.

    Labouring the point, then: each of Mercurius questions hopelessly muddles the details of the characters, locations and events of the referenced films – Star Fleet has nothing to do with Star Wars, etc. Those questions are impossible to answer because the details have been egregiously conflated and confused.

    Answering “I don’t know” is not accurate when it is so painfully clear that the questions are hopelessly muddled. The correct answer is “that question is so misguided that it’s not even wrong”.

    Now do you get the point?

  119. Tigtog@137

    I thought Mercurius was referring to OnTheBus’s original questions @4.
    To which, my answers are” zero degrees” and “the objective is already achieved”

    If Merc has a different answer, say it. If not, say ” i don’t know”.

    And you?

  120. My answer is, I was referring to @44.

    *whoosh*

    But, since I’ve gone back and had another look @4, yeah, those questions are also ‘not even wrong’.

    Quit while you’re behind. You’re embarrassing yourself. Of course you wouldn’t think so yourself, but that only adds to the embarrassment.

    This article may help.

    Since I’m not an economist, or a scientist, I wouldn’t presume to question their work until I have put in the time and effort to understand their work on at least the same, if not a higher, level of sophistication than they have attained. You have yet to demonstrate a level of understanding required for your lines of questioning to be worth persuing.

    People get that you can’t even sit down at a poker game unless you ante up. And the ante for a meaningful and purposeful critique of climate science is years of study and work in the field. Yet they blithely seek to get into a critique of climate science, armed with little more than their opinion and the latest link they picked up from their Blog Science buddies or the group email sent from their old uncle Ralph.

    Your conduct on this thread puts me in mind of the classic autodidact with an untutored mind. You need to study and understand a lot more real science and real economics before you can presume to question in the highly critical and loaded fashion in which you do.

    Otherwise you’re no different to someone with no musical training who goes to the opera and declares it to be “crap”. Now, it may very well be that you don’t like the way it sounds, you don’t know the words, you can’t follow the story and you can’t hum the tune. But that is not the fault of the composer or the librettist. And that doesn’t mean it’s “crap”. It just means you don’t know enough to tell the difference between a symphony and a cacophony.

    And it’s not our job to train you. So, if you have questions and you want answers, a good idea would be to stop arguing and start listening. Because a butt-load of answers have been posted upthread by people far more knowledgeable on this stuff than I.

  121. Mercurius, Fran, Hannah’s Dad – you can win the argument but arrogance will lose the war. Such smug disdain. No wonder support for action on climate change has vanished.

  122. Good grief Merc.
    I just finished a lovely meal,look at the laptop, and what do i see.
    More rubbish from you.
    You must be running out of metaphors ,@56 “The sewer tax”.@57 “the 101 trees”,@59 “the doctor” @64 “alcohol” ,@134″fictitious characters “and now @ 140 “poker and opera”
    Don’t answer any direct questions then , i don’t care, it’s a waste of time askin ya.
    I will ignore you from now on .
    night all.

  123. Actually support for action on climate change, as measured by a very recent Newspoll is over 70% plus clem.

    And even the ALP’s scheme, the details of which are yet to be announced, has majority support despite the COALition’s current lead on a 2PP basis.
    So the statement ” No wonder support for action on climate change has vanished.” is not accurate.

  124. Clem said:

    Mercurius, Fran, Hannah’s Dad – you can win the argument but arrogance will lose the war.

    No parlour trick, no rhetorical device, no turn of phrase can win or lose this conflict. Working humanity will either defeat those seeking to cling recklessly to their privileges reagrdless of the looming catastrophe, or it will suffer the disastrous consequences of untrammelled boss class rule. Whose feelings are hurt before one or the other of these outcomes follows will not be something that will trouble anyone but fools.

    If there are indeed some too precious or too unhinged to take the future seriously, that’s regrettable, but pandering to them will not help the cause in the slightest for their opinion is to be had or lost at whim. We must appeal to those who are rational and hope they suffice to protect the legacy of the last few millennia.

  125. “And even the ALP’s scheme, the details of which are yet to be announced, has majority support”

    Personally I think anyone who supports something that will dramatically impact their lives without knowing any of its details are fools.

    Asking for said details around here gets you sneered at as “anovver of dem der denialist people hur hur”

  126. @ Farn”

    “Working humanity will either defeat those seeking to cling recklessly to their privileges reagrdless of the looming catastrophe”

    Which privileges are you talking about exactly? Could you list a few of them?

  127. “Personally I think anyone who supports something that will dramatically impact their lives without knowing any of its details are fools.”

    Well Newspoll, owned by Limited News which has been conducting a war against science for yonks, measures that support as the majority of the Australian people.

    So do you think most Australians are ‘fools’?

    Even when Newspoll include in their question that it may be more expensive, and they say it twice [even tho’ it is a doubtful statement] they still get more people supporting such than not.
    People are prepared to pay because they rank the issue as important.
    Don’t you?

  128. OtB asked:

    Which privileges are you talking about exactly? Could you list a few of them?

    Well the privilege of dumping their waste into the biosphere comes straight to mind; that underpins the value of their hydrocarbon assets.

  129. Onthebus,

    “Personally I think anyone who supports something that will dramatically impact their lives without knowing any of its details are fools”

    By your own statement you are a fool.

    The fact is that the Carbon Pricing system under consideration in principle affects peoples lives far less than the alternative of no action on Global Warming. To act in order to minimise Climate Change is to achieve minimal impact on our lives in future. To fail to do so is to ensure future catastrophic life impact.

    In failing to understand and support the legislation you become the fool that you declare others to be.

  130. @ Fran

    Will you give up this privilege as you condemn those who wish to retain it as being reckless?

  131. BiLB tries

    “In failing to understand and support the legislation you become the fool that you declare others to be.

    You understand the legislation when no details have been released yet?

    How did you manage to fully undestand something with no DATA?

  132. @ Fran

    Could you tell me a few more of these privileges you are talking about please?

  133. This is what I think.

    Merc, that was clever @ 134, but we’ve had nothing of substance since. Fran, please don’t answer OTB @ 156. If this doesn’t stop I’ll close the thread.

    OTB, you’ve asked enough questions for one thread. Please stop.

  134. Brian
    Somewhere, out there in the internet, there is a site that has 2 adjacent photos of satellite map images of the extent of Arctic ice area, and depth also I think, for every day for decades.
    The site allows you to choose the dates of the maps.
    So you can choose, say, 13 Dec 2010 and the map on the left will show you the extent and depth of Arctic ice for the same day, 10, 20 years prior so you can directly compare the two.
    Its a powerful tool because it allows the viewer to see the decline in ice for the same seasonal day decades apart and whatever date you choose the more recent has less ice.

    The decline is visible.

    The site is out there.
    Somewhere.
    I had it on my old computer but not this one and buggered if I can find the site again.
    I came across it a few months ago on one of the science blogs but can’t remember which.

    I thought you might be interested enough for a search.

  135. HD: I think you might be talking about the NSIDC’s website here

    Brian: How would you implement a global cap-and-trade scheme? Through the UN? I’m genuinely interesting in what your ideas might be, but I don’t think the UN will be the right body. We really need something like the world bank, which has some teeth but isn’t entirely corrupt (as the world bank it).

  136. Not a problem Brian@159. AFAIC, OtB is off the bus and can cool his/her heels at the terminus until the next bus service arrives.

  137. Oh Brian just when I was getting ready to join the fray you hose it all down…I mean with a statement like this, where does one stop?

    OTB wrote “Personally I think anyone who supports something that will dramatically impact their lives without knowing any of its details are fools.”

    Quick survey (phonepoll) question – Do you support the war on terror? Yes or No, your time starts now.

    or question to woman in the street by intrepid news reporter, “do you support the government’s actions on “insert current mainstream media meme”?

    How many people answer these sort of questions without knowing any of the details?

    The only passable question of support that could be easily answered by anyone is which football team they support, and that’s very appropriate to the discussion at hand.

  138. @ 163

    Nice try.

    We are talking specific govt. legislation here.

    “Do you support the war on terror?”
    or
    “Do you support the governments policy on the War on Terror”

    Hmm what are the details of the governments policy?

    We cannot tell you the details just tell us if you support the policy or not.

    “Do you support the governments price on carbon policy?”

    Hmmm what are the details of the policy.

    We do not know/will not tell you the details.
    Now do you support it?

    UMMMM I canot make a decision on their policy when they will tell me nothing about it.

    Fair?

    We are talking specific policy here.

  139. Onthebus @155,

    Of course we understand what the legislation is all about. And we do this because we have been following it for the last 5 years, as well as listening properly to the announcements made by the governments.

    If you do not understand what is going on then you should go back through the press releases, or shut up and wait until the government spells it out in kindergarten fashion for the likes of you.

  140. dave @ 163, OTB presents him/herself as a simple seeker of the truth and sensible policy representing the woman/man in the street.

    The comment that didn’t appear was 1808 words in length (not 500) and on a quick count (I probably missed some) contained a further 22 questions for everyone to scurry around answering. At 81 climate scientist Roger Jones said:

    Don’t have time to entertain buses and cars. Because those questions are simply framed and a simple answer is demanded, there’s no point really, because there are no simple answers.

    The effect of the questions is to trivialise the discussion. Beyond that the effect is to sow doubt and to promote inaction in the face of considerable and unacceptable risk of outcomes likely to be damaging to the ecology of the planet and human civilisation.

    OTB presents as someone seeking answers, but it is clear to me that s/he has done quite a bit of reading of denialist blogs without keeping up the the genuine outcomes of Climategate, for example, where inquiries exonerated the main targets in terms of their scientific integrity.

    So the net result here is that we have slabs of 20-30 comments where nothing of substance about climate change appears.

    Some want to play, but my sense is that the whole process is annoying many. Certainly the aims of the thread are being subverted. If every thread turned out like this I wouldn’t bother posting.

  141. @ BilB

    “Of course we understand what the legislation is all about.”

    No worries then. Cab you answer what is in and out of the legislation? Petrol? Diesel? Agriculture? The Mining sector?
    At what price is carbon to be set at and for how long?
    The govt keep mentioning compensation. Who will be compensated and by how much?

    Thats just for starters.

    As you know all about the legislation perhaps you could fill the rest of us in on these sorts of details.

  142. @ Brian
    “The comment that didn’t appear was 1808 words in length (not 500) and on a quick count (I probably missed some) contained a further 22 questions for everyone to scurry around answering. ”

    That is because I was responding to about 22 different posts. I should have split my one post into 22 seperate replies, I see now, so as not to break a rule.

    The problem here is only people who agree with your faith in climate change are allowed to discuss it. But only in a positive manner. No doubt allowed.

  143. OTB @ 168, 12 separate replies, not 22.

    Now a further 7 questions since my my 166. That all amounts to thread domination, and in terms of the purpose of posting which is to exchange information and generate genuine discussion about global warming and climate change, arguably thread derailment.

    I thought some public explanation was warranted, hence my comment @ 166. But now it’s as tigtog said @ 127:

    No public discussion will be entered into regarding moderation decisions. If readers or commenters have queries about this policy, they may email the site or its contributors.

  144. OTB @168 – “The problem here is only people who agree with your faith in climate change are allowed to discuss it. But only in a positive manner. No doubt allowed.”

    Climate Change, Faith in it you seek, not here it is. Celebrated are methods of science. Broad is the hall, Popper, Kuhn, Wittgenstein, and Feyerabend chairs they have and drinks they raise (when they are not waving pokers in each others faces).

    Away you have given, your thoughts true, Illuminating it is that line i quote. Plenty you have of time to type, search and query, waste it not.

  145. @Brian

    “No public discussion will be entered into regarding moderation decisions. If readers or commenters have queries about this policy, they may email the site or its contributors.”

    Then why break your own rule and raise the issue?

    I did not, you did.

    I was responding to your raising of the issue.

  146. @ Brian

    A fellow poster claims to know all about the legislation details.
    I asked him to share the information with me and this is bad?

  147. Of course I know, Onthebus. But you will have to wait, as you obviously have no interest in studying the subject, until the government finally announces officially the nitty gritty.

    Suffice it to say that what is being worked out is a far more faithfull representation of how a Carbon Reduction incentive mechanism should work across the full spectrum of carbon atmospheric release, as compared to the CPRS.

    This is Australia’s first real effort to compensate for the externalised cost of dumping waste into our atmosphere. So suck it up fella.

  148. OTB a quick count reveals that about 20% of the comments on the thread are yours. A majority of the rest were in reaction to yours. @ 77 when we denied your long comment and Roger Jones turned up, we had, for a time, the kind of discourse we look for on these threads.

    The moderated thread showed that you have done a fair bit of uncritical reading of denialist blogs. That sort of crap is distinctly unwelcome here.

    But as the matter stands, on the record so far, you own the thread. That can’t continue.

    So there, I’ve broken our rule again, but I remind you it’s our blog. I have regarded the situational as exceptional, so a bit of flexibility is warranted.

  149. @OnTheBus, you are dominating the thread – making it all about you – by being extremely combative.

    Thread domination is explicitly against the comments policy. We want more than just one voice directing discussions on this blog.

    Let some other people have space on the thread to talk about what they want to talk about, not just what you want to talk about. Last warning.

  150. well that all turned to poo and was painful to read…

    Brian, the links under “Green Dilemma/A whole new kind of capitalism” are very interesting. First I’ve heard of the Dark Mountain project.

    This is all very close to home for me. I’ve got friends working with the Yarra Energy Foundation, and trying to get nuclear power into South Australia, and here I am, off homesteading in the wild blue yonder. I don’t know what it all means any more, I don’t know how we’re going to turn this ship around and make it sustainable, while keeping the good stuff that we all want going. I guess I’m having one of my gloomy days. On days like these, I feel that all I can do is give my kids the skills and resilience to survive in a far harsher world.

  151. @wilful. If we all taught our children to realise that there’s more to this planet than money, it’d go a long way.

  152. wilful, I hadn’t heard of the Dark Mountain Project either.

    I had come across co-founder Paul Kingsnorth and his book One no, many yeses back in 2003. His site is here. In that book he thought the global resistance movement would win out against capitalism and replace it with a kinder system. He travelled to five continents and spoke to diverse elements of the resistance movement, which one hears a lot less about now than we did then.

    He does his research well and is fully cognisant of what we are up against, but will always see hope and act upon it. We need people like him, because the culture in the long run must be changed. His approach won’t serve us in our present crisis, however. We need a tougher brand of realpolitik, unfortunately.

    Gillard, to her credit has realised this wrt climate change. Up to the time of the putsch she thought we needed bipartisanship. Now she sees we have to act any way.

    But I don’t think she understands how far and how fast we really need to move.

  153. @81 Roger

    “In many places, waste is now taxed to reduce landfill.”

    Household waste is already paid for, it is called our rates. Some councils have been considering charging to empty our bin via weight. Mind you no mention of reducing our rates, just adding this new “service fee” on top.

    Penrith council I believe wanted to reduce red bin collection to once every 3 weeks or so. They suggested all perishable waste be kept in the refridgerator to stop rotting and disease until collection day.

    How many extra fridges would be needed in a household of 4 adults?

    ” Sulphate aerosols are priced to reduce acid rain”

    Acid rain is not a good thing I agree.

    I have read that one method for combating climate change is to pump the atmosphere with SO2.

    Would this not lead to an increase in acid rain?

    genuine question there.

    “This climate change business is lucrative, what?”

    Yes for some like Flannery and Gore.

  154. They suggested all perishable waste be kept in the refridgerator to stop rotting and disease until collection day.

    yes cause FSM forbid people actually make a compost heap or a worm farm or organise a community chook yard or something.

  155. @181

    “yes cause FSM forbid people actually make a compost heap or a worm farm or organise a community chook yard or something.”

    Nappies don’t compost down very well, neither do chicken carcasses or other meat refuse.

    Not so sure about today but there used to be a limit on how many chooks could be kept in one place in a surburban area.

    Some councils do not permit any.

  156. There’s really no reason why anybody with a garden (or even without) couldn’t have a worm farm. They are fantastic things, consuming vast amounts of vegetable matter etc and converting it to great fertlizer.

  157. @ “. They are fantastic things, consuming vast amounts of vegetable matter etc and converting it to great fertlizer”

    They are that, got a small one myself.

  158. Jess,

    Take a look at the size of that high pressure system sitting off Oz at present. Its massive.

  159. @ MIndy

    “I don’t think many people would be keeping nappies in the fridge, especially used ones.”

    So if council wants to pick up the red-bin once every 3 weeks, what do you do with suc things as used nappies?

  160. Use non-disposable cloth nappies you dill. Is there no end to your inane questions?

  161. BillB. Yep, that’s a fat one all right. Should get some good frosts in the ACT once it gets here.

    Might get a bit of rain from that trough first though, which would be nice. We’ve just had the driest April since 2005(? I think). Puts the lie to Abbot’s ‘why worry about restrictions when we’ve just had all this rain’ bullshit.

  162. @adrian

    “Use non-disposable cloth nappies you dill. ”

    There have been reports done that suggest the re-use of fabric nappies are worse for the environment than the disposable ones.

    Water usage, phosphates into the water system, electricity usage washing them (unless a rock is employed to beat them over).

    Adrian, I take it you used cloth nappies for your kids and never a disposable nappy?

  163. The weather report said that a good winter blast is on target for you guys specifically.

    I’ve decided that Abbott is the political equivalent of a troll. Although having said that, the other day he uttered several sentences that I actually agreed with, which gives him a .1% approval rating from me. Not enough, he’s a troll.

  164. Onthebus @180,

    the sulphate question is looking at putting small amounts of sulphate very high up – upper troposphere or lower stratosphere – where it would not contribute to acid generation in rainfall which occurs at lower altitudes.

    It could do cute things to the ozone layer however, a current area of research.

    I checked out Penrith. Interesting – they reckon their system is cost effective when compared to others. The red bin collection is every second week. Some people are disgruntled but the lower waste resulting is keeping total costs down (which are being driven by State Government levy on landfill). I think landfill is a good example because the rates one pays are mainly for collection and a certain level of disposal but landfill does have externalilities that are being costed in more frequently. Industrial waste charges in Victoria are at levels that promote waste minimization.

    The hardest hit in the Penrith scheme would be folks with little cash and little kids. The weekly collection is around the average charge of $249 per year.

  165. @ Roger

    “The red bin collection is every second week.”

    They were wanting to increase this to once every 3 weeks possibly once a month.

    The uproar has it remaining where it is.

    What are your thoughts on not having your red bin picked up once a week or fortnight?

  166. @ Roger

    “the sulphate question is looking at putting small amounts of sulphate very high up – upper troposphere or lower stratosphere – where it would not contribute to acid generation in rainfall which occurs at lower altitudes.

    Interesting.

    By any chance doyou have a link to this? I would like to read it.

  167. @166 Brian said:

    climate scientist Roger Jones

    Roger, are you actually an economist?

  168. @188
    Your dead right, cloth nappies are the best.
    Up here in NQ, in summer, plastic nappies will cause serious heat rash.
    Plastics were for night time social outings only.

    OTB
    I personally didn’t give a rats about “”””Water usage, phosphates into the water system, electricity usage washing them “””” when bub was in pain. I promise you, the environment was the last thing on my mind.( ooh noo, i’m gunna get smacked now)

    Roger@192

    Iv’ e yet to meet a rate-payer who said “council rates ARE value for money”,

  169. Brian @166 good call!

    I guess with “the current rate of deforestation is 35 football fields per minute worldwide” according to the WWF, we don’t have much to look forward to other than simple questions like “how did it come to this?”

    For a risk adverse species we seem hellbent on mass extinction.

  170. @BilB Yep, have been making heaps of pesto because the poor basil has been getting frosted. I like to think it makes it taste a bit sweeter but maybe I’m kidding myself.

    Got lots of trays of frozen pesto cubes for soup in winter now. Can’t wait for that cold weather! 🙂

  171. Hey OnTheBus,

    Going back to your original question, Australia’s Carbon Tax is not intended to ‘cool the world’. It’s intended to reduce Australian CO2 emissions. If everyone chips in and does their part, then we can get the job done. Australia’s contribution to C02 emissions and warming is small yet significant. LeftyE @20 shows you why.

    Here’s some data from countries that have implemented a Carbon Tax.

    Sweden:
    1991-2009
    9% reduction in emissions with 48% growth in economy
    Significant growth in bio-fuels sector
    Electricity generation exempt from Carbon Tax
    http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/article/47141-carbon-tax-has-stood-test-sweden
    http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/25/0/2108273.pdf

    Finland
    1990-2010
    5-7% reduction in emissions
    Exemptions for coal used as an industrial input
    Significant increase in biofuels sector
    http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/htimes/helsinki/business-hub/13053-finland-leads-the-way-in-carbon-policies.html
    http://renewableenergylawyer.blogspot.com/2011/04/eu-catching-up-with-finland-21-years.html
    http://www.carbontax.org/blogarchives/2009/11/07/carbon-tax-is-on-the-round-table-at-the-cosmos-club/

    Norway:
    1991-2008
    2.5% – 11% reduction in emissions
    Electricity production exempted
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_tax

    The premise of much of your argument has been ‘Australia’s Carbon Tax cannot stop Global Warming therefore we should do nothing’.

    What you’re missing is that the Carbon Tax is a first step. No-one is claiming its a complete solution to planetary Global warming.

    To effectively stop global warming would require all nations to immediately ban all C02 emissions. This is impractical, not least because it would be a hammer blow to the economy of every country that did it.

    So Gillard is proposing a sensible transitional plan starting with a mild Carbon Tax. This can be built upon as the Tax funds alternative energy (e.g hot rocks) and promising direct action (maybe Soil Sequestration).

    Is that fair enough, to implement a transitional plan ? Or are you advocating the hammer blow; or no action at all ? Most importantly do you accept the AGW hypothesis? If not why not ?

  172. Fellow LP Contributors,

    I think you have all misjudged OnTheBus. Yes, he is steeped in misinformation and has little exposure to respectable AGW literature, but that just means he needs some patient help.

    Yes, he’s been massively overconfident in his assertions, but he’s also correct that he’s received some bad manners in return. And he’s right. Many Aussies think like he does.

    Achieving action on AGW means winning over OnTheBus and his mates. I recommend a more patient approach.

  173. OTB @190:

    There have been reports done that suggest the re-use of fabric nappies are worse for the environment than the disposable ones.

    By any chance do you have a link to this? I would like to read it.

  174. @Zoot,

    Just found it in my archives. I remembered it wrongly.

    There is no significant carbon footprint difference between the two.

    “A recent update to the UK report, An updated lifecycle assessment study for disposable and reusable nappies , found that on average, reusable nappies had a slightly higher carbon footprint than disposable nappies, when laundered under typical household conditions.”

    Have a read.

    http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Document.aspx?Document=WR0705_7589_FRP.pdf

  175. FWIW I agree somewhat with Giles @201 re OTB but OTB has also demonstrated a combative attitude to others here which is contrary to the conventions of posting on LP.

    It is also hard to accept OTB’s line of questioning in good faith when it is public knowledge that the government proposal in details and the productivity commission report will be released at the end of this month. This is particularly suspect given the extent of right wing hysteria in the MSM about the government’s plan.

    I too am interested to know what is OTB’s view on AGW, perhaps OTB might like to share…

  176. @ Giles Anthrax.

    Nice to see someone with a decent attitude around here.

    “Australia’s contribution to C02 emissions and warming is small yet significant. LeftyE @20 shows you why. ”

    Left E tells me that Australia is the largest emmiter of CO2 per capita in the world. This is a fact.

    However, here it says we are 12th not 1st.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita

    Whose fact is correct and whose is incorrect?

  177. @ Giles.

    “So Gillard is proposing a sensible transitional plan starting with a mild Carbon Tax. This can be built upon as the Tax funds alternative energy (e.g hot rocks) and promising direct action (maybe Soil Sequestration).”

    I was wondering if you would include nuclear in this mix?

    I would.

  178. I also agree with Giles Anthrax @201 (cool handle, by the way) re OTB’s questions. And given my position, I have to take people at face value. Pissing people off wouldn’t help the credibility of the message (science, research etc).

    I do draw the line at offensive denial, where the intent is to mislead and obfuscate. But have come across questions framed like those @4 quite often. (Answer it the way I want or else … I won’t believe you). Such questions are difficult to answer in the way insisted upon because there’s a wicked problem at the heart of the matter.

    Onthebus – re geoengineering (which includes sulphates and a heap of other stuff) a good source is here.

  179. OTB @207: I notice you have not answered the questions posed by Giles @200:

    Is that fair enough, to implement a transitional plan ? Or are you advocating the hammer blow; or no action at all ? Most importantly do you accept the AGW hypothesis? If not why not ?

  180. OTB, I don’t have the accurate information at my fingertips but off the top of my head I would have put the CO2 equivalent figure of all Kyoto greenhouse gases at around 26 tonnes per capita for Australia. It’s not strictly the highest in the world, but I think you’ll find it’s higher than any of the other major industrialised economies by a fair margin.

    The table in the link is for CO2 only.

    You often see figures for CO2 from fossil fuel sources. A further confusion arises between carbon (C) and CO2. The latter is 3.667 times larger. The figures quoted by Roger J and others from @ 88 were C, not CO2.

  181. Onthebus @193,

    I quite often only put the red bin out every second or third week. My usual rubbish output is somewhere between 1/4 and half a kg each collection. It will compact into a very small space. Having teenagers around makes little difference (They’re not here all the time).

    If I made an effort, there would be even less rubbish to put out.

  182. @ Zoot,

    You asked for a link to a reputable report.

    Did you read it?

    What are your thoughts?

  183. Well Dave, over at the Catt OntheBus is likening belief in AGW to adherence to Scientology and claiming he is “testing a theory” about abusiveness and l*ftism. Your skepticism is warranted.

  184. OTB, from the report in your link @204

    The report highlights that the manufacture of disposable nappies has greater environmental impact in the UK than their waste management by landfill.

    and

    The environmental impacts of using shaped reusable nappies can be higher or lower than using disposables, depending on how they are laundered. The report shows that, in contrast to the use of disposable nappies, it is consumers’ behaviour after purchase
    that determines most of the impacts from reusable nappies.

    I think you are misrepresenting the conclusions. It is also questionable how relevant a UK study is to Australian conditions.

  185. @ Brian


    The table in the link is for CO2 only.

    Well take it up with Lefty E.

    He is claiming as fact that we ARE number one in the world.

    You are saying we are not number one in the world.

    “It’s not strictly the highest in the world”

    We are or we aren’t.

    The devil is in the detail as you say.

    I will look into this further and consider.

  186. @213

    “Well Dave, over at the Catt OntheBus is likening belief in AGW to adherence to Scientology and claiming he is “testing a theory” about abusiveness and l*ftism. Your skepticism is warranted.”

    I ain’t far wrong going by the insulting names I have been called in this one thread alone.

    Care to count up the number of times I have personally insulted another member?

  187. @Roger

    “I quite often only put the red bin out every second or third week. My usual rubbish output is somewhere between 1/4 and half a kg each collection. It will compact into a very small space. Having teenagers around makes little difference ”

    Are you telling me that a family of 3 or 4 or more only produces about 20 gram to 40 gram each of non-recyclable or non-compostable rubbish a week?

    Now that is amazing.

  188. @ 214 Dave,

    “It is also questionable how relevant a UK study is to Australian conditions.”

    What conditions are you thinking of regarding nappies would be different betweenthe two countries?

  189. OTB @ 215, Australia is frequently cited as the highest per capita in the world, the totals from the higher countries being minuscule by comparison. In context as shorthand communication it’s not seriously misleading.

  190. @ Brian
    “Australia is frequently cited as the highest per capita in the world”

    I know, and it is incorrect.

    “In context as shorthand communication it’s not seriously misleading.”

    Misleading non the less.

  191. @ 213 Su

    “Well Dave, over at the Catt OntheBus is likening belief in AGW to adherence to Scientology and claiming he is “testing a theory” about abusiveness and l*ftism. Your skepticism is warranted.”

    Lets expand on this a little shall we since you like to have your “gotcha” moment.

    I did not liken AGW belief to Scientology.

    I likened the AGW FAITHFUL to the Church of Scientology.

    You know those people who just know the are always riht and will not bother to listen to you as you are an unbeliever!
    How dare you question the almighty settled science.

    That was the context.

    Now as for the little experiment on insults and abuse.

    Well yes after being called a few choice names and hit with a few nice twists on my username I did find it interesting to see just how many times it would happen.

    Being called a “dill” has been my fave so far.

    Now what was your point again?

  192. OnTheBus, while you haven’t directly insulted anyone (except, by implication, their intelligence), you have managed to give a lot of people the shits.

    Normally, the discussions prompted by Brian’s climate clippings posts are interesting and informative. This one has been a grind, largely because of you.

    Instead of spoiling everyone’s dinners, why don’t you just scuttle over here? Tim Lambert will eat you alive.

  193. OTB, You have still not answered the questions posed by Giles @200:

    Is that fair enough, to implement a transitional plan ? Or are you advocating the hammer blow; or no action at all ? Most importantly do you accept the AGW hypothesis? If not why not ?

    On a related matter – are you aware of the “Gish Gallop”?

  194. Zoot
    “OTB, You have still not answered the questions posed by Giles @200”

    And you still haven’t answered mine @212.

    As for Giles questions, i shall consider my answers and post it here if allowed to in the very near future.

  195. @ David Irving
    “OnTheBus, while you haven’t directly insulted anyone”

    Glad to see that acknowledged, pity you can’t say that for so many others in here.

    “you have managed to give a lot of people the shits”

    If asking questions gives people the shits well thatis their problem. They can choose to ignore them. Nobody forces them to answer or enter into discussion.

    “Normally, the discussions prompted by Brian’s climate clippings posts are interesting and informative.”

    Fair enough.

    “This one has been a grind, largely because of you.”

    Again, I am only asking questions and trying to answer questions put to me.

    “Instead of spoiling everyone’s dinners, why don’t you just scuttle”

    Get rid of the dissenters.

  196. Reply to OTB @212: Yes I have read the report and I think Dave’s second quote @214 sums up the uncertainty in their conclusions. Thank you for admitting you were wrong in claiming reusables were more damaging than disposables.
    Now, how about answering the questions Giles put @200 just before he wrote that he thought we had misjudged you?

    Is that fair enough, to implement a transitional plan ? Or are you advocating the hammer blow; or no action at all ? Most importantly do you accept the AGW hypothesis? If not why not ?

  197. OTB @218 Let’s see, maybe conditions such as drying reusable nappies in sun. In case you weren’t aware, Australia enjoys a bit more sun compared with the UK, and just in case you haven’t ever had to dry a nappy, they dry pretty effectively on a clothes line in our climate.

    But of course you are not interested in such trivial matters of fact or context. According to your posts on Catalaxy everyone here is precious and it’s all just fun for you.

  198. Actually I wanted to test a little theory of mine and see just how insulting the Left gets when you do not agree with them.

    He is nothing more than a contrarian troll.

  199. @201 Giles Anthrax:

    Achieving action on AGW means winning over OnTheBus and his mates. I recommend a more patient approach.

    Sadly, regrettably, you are mistaken. If only you were correct.

    OTB:

    Actually I wanted to test a little theory of mine and see just how insulting the Left gets when you do not agree with them.

    There is no prospect of ever ‘winning over’ somebody who is not arguing in good faith.

    As OTB has just revealed he only popped over here to engage in some lefty-baiting and to deliberately provoke people to confirm his stereotypes, so he could have a laff with the Catallaxy crowd.

    Not exactly an earnest seeker of truth, or a plain-speaking dealer after all, was he? Just a mischief-maker taking advantage of the better natures of a large crowd here, many of whom gave him the same benefit of the doubt as you, offered the same charitable intent as you, attempted patiently to present quality information, only to be told that, in the end, OTB was just having a lend of them — and if we’re pissed off, it’s our fault.

    He just earnt himself a giant slice of zero patience.

  200. “OTB, I don’t have the accurate information at my fingertips but off the top of my head I would have put the CO2 equivalent figure of all Kyoto greenhouse gases at around 26gt per capita for Australia. It’s not strictly the highest in the world, but I think you’ll find it’s higher than any of the other major industrialised economies by a fair margin.”
    I’m sure it is just a slip of the fingers but the per capita CO2e is perhaps not 26 gt( gigatonne) but 26 tonnes.
    26 gigatonnes each ? I’d better burn the toast more very morning then spark up the 747 to take me work at my private browm coal buring power station.
    The figure of 26 tonnes per capita is a good place to get some perpective on the cost of the carbon tax though – 26 x $30 per tonnes = $780 per annum. About the same as a typical annual insurance premium for a car, less than the average annual power bill and at $15 a week about the cost of a take away coffee every second day.

  201. I’m sure it is just a slip of the fingers but the per capita CO2e is perhaps not 26 gt( gigatonne) but 26 tonnes.

    You are right, murph, thanks. I’ve fixed it.

  202. @Merc

    Eh, I did troll duty a couple of threads ago. At least those guys had the ability to ask coherent questions. I went back to OTBs questions @ 44 with the intention of providing some answers but that’s impossible.

    OTB seems to be insinuating that because we don’t know what an as-yet-unreleased carbon price will do to the economy (because we don’t have enough information about it) that we shouldn’t even discuss it or support having one in general. The lack of subtlety is something I’d expect from your average International Socialist at university.

    When OTB actually comes back with some science to back up his claims (or even just makes claims which are internally self-consistent) then I might reconsider his questions.

    On his link re nappies, I think these are relevant quotes:

    The use of disposable nappies by an average child over two and a half years is equivalent to between 0.1 and 12 per cent of the emissions from one average person in one year.

    and

    Washing the nappies in fuller loads or line-drying them outdoors all the time (ignoring UK climatic conditions for the purposes of illustration) was found to reduce this figure by 16 per cent. Combining three of the beneficial scenarios (washing nappies in a fuller load, outdoor line drying all of the time, and reusing nappies on a second child) would lower the global warming impact by 40 per cent from the baseline scenario, or some 200kg of carbon dioxide equivalents over the two and a half years, equal to driving a car approximately 1,000 km.

    So really, if we use reusable nappies and all hang our nappies on the clothes line we will be doing a lot of good, which is exactly what you might expect.

    Finally, this bullshit is fairly insulting, regardless of what OTB says…

    I did not liken AGW belief to Scientology. I likened the AGW FAITHFUL to the Church of Scientology. … How dare you question the almighty settled science.

    In fact we question the ‘almighty settled science’ on a regular basis on these threads, but OTB wouldn’t realise that because he’s so certain we’re all lefty idiots. Because we believe what our instruments and best science is telling us we are to be equated to some credulous morons.

  203. When is the Gillard governemnt going to spend some solid media time pointing out that the Coaltion’s “direct action”: plan hasprecisely ZERO support anywhere – not even from the business community.

    Can get a single business person to support it. After cajoling some were persuaaded to “examine” it.

    Use some colourful langugae, fer Gawd’s sake. Need to tie a chop around Greg Hunt’s neck to get a dog to play with him etc.

    Why cant they take a trick?

  204. @ LeftyE: Would the Coalition just come out and say that they wouldn’t implement it if in power? It’s not like they’re picking up any votes on the issue anyway, so they’d probably just cut their losses.

  205. Murph @230: You say

    The figure of 26 tonnes per capita is a good place to get some perpective on the cost of the carbon tax though – 26 x $30 per tonnes = $780 per annum. About the same as a typical annual insurance premium for a car, less than the average annual power bill and at $15 a week about the cost of a take away coffee every second day.

    The interesting question is what you actually achieve by imposing a $30/tonne tax apart from pissing a lot of people off?
    $30/tonne CO2 is not enough to drive investment in renewables but may be enough to drive investment in gas AS LONG AS THE INVESTORS ARE SURE THAT THE TAX IS NOT GOING TO GO UP ENOUGH WITHIN A FEW YEARS TO DRIVE GAS OUT OF BUSINESS. On the available figures it may drive down fuel consumption by something between 1 and 3% and reduce power consumption by something between 4 and 9%. In both cases the higher figure would only be reached over a number of years. So what else would it achieve?
    If we are silly enough to go the the tax route a $60/tonne tax targeted at power only would cost about the same as the general $30/tonne tax. However, it would have a much higher impact. It would be high enough to drive a rapid replacement of coal fired with a mix of renewables and gas. We are talking about a reduction of total emissions here in excess of 35%. (Of course, the same could be achieved with much lower cost price increases by using approaches that don’t involve defacto taxes such as setting up contracts to supply clean electricity.)
    The point I am making is that it is difficult to have a rational conversation about carbon taxes without knowing what it will be and what sources of emissions won’t be taxed. The impact of the tax on emissions is complex. It is not as simple as saying that a $40/tonne tax will achieve twice as much as a $20/tonne tax. The tax has to reach various trigger points before it will be large neough to drive specific actions.

  206. John D, if we were really going to go the carbon tax route I’d be interested in Brian Toohey’s approach.

    Start low but add a bit each year for the next 25 years, and pitch it so that the business model of a coal-fired power station would not be viable when the life of the power station is considered.

    One big problem. You’d have to have bipartisanship, so that the plan survived a change in government. Which is why it’s a silly idea under present circumstances.

  207. Brian

    One thing often missing from these discussions on pricing/internalising emissions is the tendency of a price to constrain discretionary usage. At $30tCo2e you are going to put pressure on people and business to change how they use energy and how much of it they use. Growth in new capacity would be cut and this has more of an effect on the trend line per dollar of expenditure than almost any other meausure. Changes in the culture attending energy usage and the associated configuration of cities and services are likely to provide significant benefits even in the short to medium term that have little to do with abating global emissions. It stands to reason that if Australia’s use less imported fuel per capita, or per unit of GDP, then volatility in the market for fuel isn’t going to be as disruptive, and if the whole world began behaving in this way, then it would take a more seriously disruptive event, ceteris paribus to produce a serious problem for end users of fuel products.

    If cities are redesigned so that motor vehicle usage is less critical, then it follows that there will be fewer vehicle miles per unit of GDP/per capita and therefore there will be reduced call on steel and plastic and rubber. There will be less congestion in cities and fewer road deaths and injuries — especially in the developing world. Road trauma, especially amongst those approaching or at working age is a serious burden on every community but it’s particularly nasty in the developing world. Again, this has nothing direct to do with CO2e abatement, but it does underline the no regrets character of responses to even a modest CO2e price.

    Like you, I doubt that something called a “carbon tax” could survive a change of regime unless the price has has been settled down for at least a number of years. At that point, the route to subverting it would be complex and probably demand more unity of purpose than an opposition could muster. That’s why I would have preferred a direct move to an ETS, even if it had initially had a rather generously high cap — providing there were no loopholes or exemptions and EITEs were taken care of in a suitably rigorous BTA regime that operated independently of the state — and possibly, independently of the jurisdictions it covered.

    One thing this whole episode does achieve is to expose the cant of those who argued for a “carbon tax” as a more palatable measure for those opposing internalisation. This has been exposed as mere patter for the wet-behind-the-ears. A tax was always going to be politically easier to oppose than an ETS, precisely because it fit into the GBNT meme — government on one side and ‘average Australians’ on the other. The minute that the ALP allowed its policy to be characterised in these terms, it was in trouble and the way was clear to making it trivial and at worst, easily reversible.

  208. The carbon tax cannot be put into budget figuring because without knowing the price you do not know how much revenue would be gotten and thus how much compensation you would give either.

    We do have a rough idea of how the carbon tax would impact on the economy.
    We can look at what happened with regard to the GST. However the impact would much less.

  209. I might add they are merely following what the previous Government did with regard to forward estimates with their proposed ETS.

  210. Merc @229 and others re: OTB

    Yep, I was wrong about OTB. It seems he’s come here mainly to provoke anger and then rack off back to Cattalaxy for a laugh. But nevertheless I would recommend eschewing bad manners and name-calling. In fact I would argue that with commenters like OTB its even more important.

    Action on AGW can only be achieved by popular pressure, by which I mean votes in elections, arising from acceptance of the AGW hypothesis.

    OTB has a vote. It would be nice if he voted YES to Climate-friendly parties.

    This is unlikely to happen if he’s called a dill or a troll and told to go away. Only entrenches his position you see.

    In coming to LP, OTB has an opportunity to receive accurate climate data and principled argument which he is not getting anywhere else.

    It would be good if he got this with a smile rather than a smack across the chops.

    While OTB may present a Denialist-unyielding-as-brass-exterior, you just never know what he may be thinking when he’s digested a nice factual friendly post. Truth is persuasive. Give it a chance o work.

    You can’t predict what piece of truth will finally convince OTB, so give generously, the atmosphere will be grateful.

  211. OTB @206 and @207,

    Its not really relevant if Australia is 1st, 12th or 99th in the league table of emitters per capita.

    What matters is that Australia does its part. That way we can apply principled encouragement to other nations to reduce at the same rate.

    I would not go nuclear. One bad accident, including operator error, and we’re toast. Given the massive subsidies required to create and sustain nuclear power I would prefer to see the money spent on Hot Rocks as that technology can produce base-load power, being ‘active’ 24×7.

    OTB since you like Catallaxy you may be a fan of Classical Economics, in which case you might be interested to know that Climate Change represents the classical economic problem of the ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’.

    The most rational solution to the Prisoner’s Dilemma is for each player take a small penalty in order to avoid individually and collectively taking the maximum penalty.

    In the Climate Change scenario that means the most rational outcome is for Australia to unilaterally cut emissions. Follow the link and let me know what you think.

    Up at @107 you said that one of your big problems with the AGW hypothesis was that climate models such as relied on by the IPCC were unreliable because climate data had been
    fudged to retrospectively fit the outcomes demanded by the models.

    Here’s one-page rebuttal of the ‘unreliable climate models’ argument. The key point
    it contains is that climate models have successfully predicted future climate outcomes.

    Obviously future outcomes cannot be ‘fudged’.
    Does that satisfy your objection.
    If not, let me know why.
    Send me a link to your best article on unreliable climate models and I’ll have a read.

    One thought in closing: do you believe in Gravity ?
    You probably know that scientists do not know what makes Gravity work. The internal properties of Gravity cannot be described.

    All we know, basically, is that Gravity is a by-product of mass and that it is real because it can be observed and predicted.

    Now the internal mechanics and chemistry of AGW are known in a far, far deeper way than Gravity via the Greenhouse properies of CO2 and the various physics and chemistry of clouds, snow, soil, vegetation, atmosphere and aerosols PLUS the observational effects of AGW are present for all to see (see Hannah’s Dad’s 10 minute video) PLUS we know that the sun is currently in a quiet phase.

    C02 is the only available candidate for current warming.
    You find another one and you will win the Nobel Prize.

    So, AGW/Greenhouse is better understood that Gravity and, like Gravity, the observational indicators are physically present for all to see.

  212. John Quiggin reaises an interesting point:

    http://johnquiggin.com/2011/05/10/economists-for-the-price-mechanism/

    Substitute the term “fixed price” for “tax” in the following and it’s hard to deny the point Quiggin makes:

    I had a call from a local business organization asking if I would talk at a breakfast about the carbon tax to be held in a few weeks. The date was fine, so I said yes, then came the kicker – they wanted an economist on each side of the issue. The organizer said they had plenty of economists willing to speak for the tax, but they couldn’t find any willing to speak against it. I gamely offerd to present the case for an emissions trading scheme as opposed to a tax (even though, at the moment, I lean to a tax). But they wanted an actual opponent of any kind of carbon price, who was also an economist. This has proved to be impossible, which is pretty impressive testimony to the quality of the Queensland economics profession, and to the underappreciated fact that economists are among the strongest supporters of good environmental policy.

  213. @Giles, I agree entirely with your points. We have done this in the past, on this thread here for example, particularly with the ‘models are crap’ arguments. However how do you answer the questions upthread when they aren’t even coherent?

    Maybe we should be compiling a list of responses to these sorts of comments and point people in that direction (something like a pseudo-Skeptical Science thread)? Otherwise I feel like I have to respond to things that are just _wrong_ (especially on LP) and I find myself repeating things over and over. It is definitely a bit frustrating.

  214. I would like to second the idea of a Pseudo Skeptical Science thread. There is so much to discuss and we have less than a decade to settle the science.

  215. Hey Jess,

    Nah. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Just give a one-para answer and a link to the Skeptical Science article itself.

    A human response is far more pleasant to receive than a cookie-cutter answer from a FAQ…and more persuasive I reckon. You feel more important if someone takes the time to personally respond.

  216. I think I’m with Giles on this one. Moreover, currently I don’t have the strength. Well time, actually.

    BTW I’ve changed the numbering in the title from 55 to 25. I suddenly realised that I’d skipped 30 in the sequence when I came back from holidays!

  217. @Giles Fair enough – you make some good points. I agree that a personal response is better than a cookie-cutter one. And the skeptical science site is a good resource.

    I just wish it wasn’t so god-dammed hard to make people see sense about reality!

  218. I’ve changed the numbering in the title from 55 to 25. I suddenly realised that I’d skipped 30 in the sequence when I came back from holidays!

    Oh noes! Ur hiding the incline! 😀

  219. The hypocrisy of certain people in here is unbelievable.

    We are told to cut back, use cloth nappies instead of evil disposable ones, don’t run the air-con so much, don’t consume more than your fair share, wants are not needs.

    Then we hear of the same lecturing people and all their friends who choose to upgrade their big-screen tv’s every 3 years and have the hide to argue how that is perfectly fine.

    They argue for a carbon tax to make such behaviour too expensive for most everyday people, but I am sure it will not impact the lifestyle choice of those who can already afford to replace their tv’s every 1000 days or so.

    Whether it is the big guns of climate change such as Al Gore and Tim Flannery or it is every day people like Fran Barlow, “the do as I say not as I do” stance is there.

  220. I’ve been here all the time, and funnily enough @ 255, I can’t identify these “certain people”. Fran, for example, stands out as someone who tries to live a principled life.

  221. Well OTB, in my opinion the idiocy of some people is unbelievable. If doing anything about climate change depends on convincing people like you we are well and truly stuffed.

    Now run over to Catallaxy and bluber about how those nasty ‘lefties’ were so mean to you.

  222. Onthebus,

    The carbon price will affect prices only modestly. It affects production costs that are a marginal component of most products, and it is a marginal increase. So what we are facing is a marginal increase to marginal costs blown out of all proportion by the marginal intellect of Tony Abbott and Co. And you seem to have take the story hook line and sinker.

    It amazes me that electricity prices can rise 30% due to the greed of the electricity industry taking wholesale chunks out of the family budget and this does not even raise a mention from the Abbott. Worse he doesn’t even know why or how these price rises came about. Lies and hypocracy are the right of passage of the coalition and their followers. If you want to rave about that sort of stuff go over there to do it.

  223. Over at Catallaxy, jumpnmcar posted:

    Peter Garrett is a husband and father of 3 daughters. He is also a Christian. I had him pegged as an atheist turd bugler. Live and learn.

    I think this anti-atheist comment pegs jump as a fundie “turd bugler.”

    I also think OnTheBus is a fundie. This would explain why he likens belief in AGW to Scientology rather than some version of Christianity.

  224. Silkworm@262
    For your info, I am agnostic. And NOT a turd bugler.
    But what has that to do with the climate?
    You too can live and learn.

  225. That is brilliant, Jess, and thanks Roger Jones. Next question, how do I get a hi res version of that to spread around? My girls are going to love it. I especially love the fact they are all young, smart, climate scientists.

    In future when I encounter any deniers On Their Bus I’m simply linking them to that. There is nothing more to say about it.

  226. Dunno BilB,

    there’s a director’s cut on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQeeKytdhUc don’t know if that’s any higher res – you could ask Dan Ilic, of Hungry Beast though

    The other version is almost viral, nearly 30,000 plays yesterday and today. It’s brought up a flood of denial. Delightful to watch, really.

    Isn’t it horrible when people are right and having fun?

  227. @261

    “The carbon price will affect prices only modestly”

    That is a very subjective term. WHat sort of figures or percentages are you talking about and how did you get to these figures.
    Actually interested to know.

    “It affects production costs that are a marginal component of most products, and it is a marginal increase”

    WHich components exactly?

    “So what we are facing is a marginal increase to marginal costs blown out of all proportion by the marginal intellect of Tony Abbott and Co. And you seem to have take the story hook line and sinker.”

    What proportion has it been blown out to?

  228. Roger,

    Soe nao we noze how you SPENDING DE GRUNTZ!
    I can haz gruntz? Fur dansing ? an lukin kool ?

    (PS As threads grow longer probability of lolz > 5.00)

  229. ‘Van Ommen says climate modelling will be needed before we can speculate how the results relate to current warming.’

    Ha ha, a bit of tweaking and adjustment should give a us a perfect fit.

  230. Giles,

    Ize still getting ova de ideer of bugling with turdz. It goze well with HG Nelson’s trowser floot soloze.

    Pier revued brake dansing iz tame compered to that.

  231. I will explain this to you Onthebus when you tell me a little about yourself. What class of work are you involved with and roughly which quarter century do you occupy? This is so that I can frame the answer in terms that you will understand.

  232. I’m happy to help you understand OntheBus, but knowing something about you does help. Are you a student? Primary school, High school? Or are you working? Labourer, Tradey? It helps to know what level to address the answer to. So far you have not demonstrated any significant ability to absorb what is being said, so what terminology to use is a concern, as well as the length of the words.

    My impression of you though is that you are the kind of denier who will wake up one morning to discover that climate change is in fact real as it has just demolished you home, and you will be the first OntheBus going in the other direction yelling “why weren’t we told…and … why didn’t the government do something to prevent this”, as you disappear into the distance.

    So what are you about OntheBus?

  233. a Bilb

    WHat are your education levels?
    What field of work are you in?

    Are you in primary school?

    “So far you have not demonstrated any significant ability to absorb what is being said, so what terminology to use is a concern, as well as the length of the words.”

    Don’t be so pratonizing. If you cannot answer the questions I asked about your post then just say so.

    Answer them as technically as you like. I will understand what you are saying.
    Possible disagreement does not equal not understanding.

  234. OTB, you do have the habit of not absorbing information, but taking a side-step and responding with tired denialist talking points or over-simplistic questions.

    I’ve deleted a few comments (not just yours) that I thought we could profitably do without. When we are talking about other commenters we are not talking about climate change and wasting a limited resource.

Comments are closed.